Harewood House is to launch a biennial art series in March.
The first exhibition of the Harewood Biennial is Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters, which aims to challenge preconceptions, spark interest and inspire debate about the role craft can play in culture, identity and society.
“This is one of our most ambitious projects to date,” said Jane Marriott, Harewood House Trust Director.
“Together with a wider programme of workshops, demonstrations, symposia and events, Useful/Beautiful will be a fully immersive and visually striking exhibition for the first six months of our season, across all rooms in the House and extending outside, offering a vibrant and playful new perspective and experience for visitors.”
Each of the 26 exhibitors have been invited to interpret a different room, reflecting work in span fashion, textiles, woodwork, glass, metalwork, furniture, papercraft and leather.
Names include Wakefield-based paper artist and illustrator Andy Singleton, Sheffield-born ceramicist Lena Peters and Whitby glass maker, Effie Burns, rubbing shoulders alongside statement printmaker Anthony Burrill, Welsh sustainable denim-makers Hiut Denim, whose jeans are worn by Meghan Markle, Freed dance shoes and the Emily Blunt-sporting Fox Umbrellas.
Curated by design critic Hugo Macdonald, the exhibition crosses generations and disciplines, mixes classic and contemporary and uses Harewood House as a platform to showcase and question the very definition of skill and craft today.
Harewood House itself is renowned for the craftsmanship that built and furnished it, including Chippendale, and Capability Brown.