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4 September 2017

Lecturer and artist's giant textile signatures help mark bicentenaries of Brontė siblings

Lynn Setterington's Sew Near - Sew Far part of museum's celebrations

A new piece of public art created by a Manchester Metropolitan University textile lecturer will mark the 250th anniversary of the births of the literary Brontė siblings.

Artist Lynn Setterington, a Senior Lecturer on the Textiles in Practice programme, is behind the artwork, Sew Near - Sew Far, in collaboration with the Brontė Parsonage Museum.

The large-scale textile artwork will comprise a series of replicas of the pen names and real signatures used by author sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne.

Marker of identity

Lynn said: “Signatures are an important marker of identity and the Brontė sisters famously used pseudonyms at their time of writing to disguise the fact they were women.

“I’m creating an artwork for Brontė Parsonage Museum exploring the adopted and real signatures of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontė.

“I’ll be working with local people to develop the artworks and inviting them to add their own signatures to the piece.

“We’re also creating a film documenting the whole process, which will be shown later in the year.

“I’ll be collaborating with community groups, volunteers and local people in West Yorkshire to create Sew Near - Sew Far and capturing the process is an important part of the artwork.”

On display on the Brontė Way

Sew Near - Sew Far is Brontė Parsonage Museum's first outdoor exhibit and will be on display from September 30 to October 14 on the Brontė Way, a cross-Pennine footpath connecting some of the family's most important locations.

The artwork is part of the Keighley, West Yorkshire-based museum's five year programme, called Brontė200, that celebrates the bicentenaries of the births of the sisters and that of brother Branwell.

Charlotte, author of Jane Eyre and Shirley, was born in 1816 and Branwell, a painter and writer, the year after.

Younger siblings Emily - whose only novel was Wuthering Heights - was born in 1818 and Anne, who produced Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, was born two years later.

Into the landscape

Lauren Livesey, Arts Officer at Brontė Parsonage Museum said: “Whilst we have a long standing reputation of working with leading artists, this project with Lynn will be a first for Brontė Parsonage Museum as we take the exhibition out of the museum and into the landscape that was so important to the Brontės.

“We’ve been able to work with local communities as part of the project and really involve people in our Brontė200 celebrations.”

Artists partner with museums

Sew Near - Sew Far is presented as part of Meeting Point2, a year-long project led by contemporary art agency Arts&Heritage that sees artists partner with museums in Yorkshire, the North West and the North East to produce new artworks inspired by the museums and their collections.

Timandra Nichols, director at Arts&Heritage, said: “Lynn has continued to challenge how people perceive embroidery by using innovative techniques to create her artworks.

“Sew Near - Sew Far has been created with the local community ensuring it’s inclusive and something everyone can experience and enjoy. It will give visitors to Brontė Way a whole new way to experience Brontė Parsonage Museum.”

Sew Near - Sew Far goes on display at sites near the Brontė Bridge and Waterfall on the Brontė Way from 30 September to 14 October. A film documenting the collaboration with Brontė Parsonage Museum will be screened later in the year.

Special preview events for the local community and those involved in creating the artwork with Lynn will be held on Wednesday September 27 and Saturday September 30.

For more information about Sew Near - Sew Far, visit www.bronte.org.uk

For more information about Meeting Point2, visit www.artsandheritage.org.uk