Temporary Exhibitions

A Stitch in Time: Exhibition of embroidery from The Olive Matthews Collection

until 26 January 2019

From its earliest inception, The Olive Matthews Collection has incorporated beautiful examples of hand worked embroidery. This exhibition will display some of the best, with items dating from the early 1600s through to the first half of the 20th century. Pieces will include full garments, accessories, samplers and workboxes.

There will be embroidery demonstrations by the Royal School of Needlework on Saturday 24 November & Saturday 8 December from 1pm to 3pm


100 Hearts

Embroiderers' Guild display to commemorate the end of the First World War

On Display 21 November 2018 - 2 February 2019

There will be few people, of any age, who will be unaware of the First World War.  What they may not be aware of is the devastating effect it had on not only those sent to fight and those who accompanied them, but also those left at home.  Not only the physical effects but the anguish of those they returned to, and the mental torment that stayed with many for the rest of their lives.  In the early 1900s, stitching was considered a female activity done in the home…..but it was more than that.  It was a therapy for soldiers who needed a temporary escape from the horror of their situation, a method of communication to those back home, and a way of clothing and warming those away on foreign shores.  Today, 100 years later, stitch and textile art is a powerful way of communicating to a new audience – it can express concepts and ideas in a unique way that other forms of visual art find hard to match.

This is an anniversary which will not occur again. It has been written about from many viewpoints and in many ways, some of which may carry a bias towards a country or political view.  We use textiles to highlight the many aspects when considering this historical event – what led up to it and what came after, the rules of society at the time, the place of both men and women and how they were expected to conduct themselves, the newspaper reports, and the effects of finding a generation of men suddenly not there.  The First World War cannot be viewed as an isolated conflict which abruptly appeared, was lived through, and then left behind.  This exhibition will use an unexpected art form - that of stitch - to ask the audience to reconsider how they view the First World War.   To see the pride of belonging to a regiment but ask if this was what bonded the men together; to acknowledge the medals given for acts of bravery but ask if that was enough; to question a society that sent ordinary men to a situation that was beyond comprehension and ask why.  We hope that the audience will include all age groups and encourage discussion about the politics and beliefs of individuals and the response of society as a whole to a conflict that should have been “over by Christmas”.

100 Hearts is a different mixture of pieces at each venue.  Please check the Guild and venue websites for updates and confirmation of exact exhibition dates.

For more information please contact 100hearts@embroiderersguild.com

For Your Tomorrow - Runnymede Remembers

30 June 2018 to 30 March 2019

field of poppies

This exhibition focuses on the social impact of the First World War and how the Borough of Runnymede changed in the years immediately following the ceasefire.

When Britain entered the First World War in August 1914 no-one could have imagined the impact it would have on the nation, and no-one could have dreamed of the new world that would come after the Peace. It was a turning point for British society, sweeping away Victorian and Edwardian values and making way for the modern age with the Roaring Twenties. It was a time of great upheaval, socially, economically and politically and it would change Britain forever.

The exhibition, which has been part funded by a National Lottery grant of £9,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, is aimed at making everyone in the Borough aware of the sacrifice made by the 800 Borough Fallen.