Each year the Knitting and Stitching show hosts exhibitions of work from leading textile artists. This year had some exquisite pieces.
A major highlight , Ripeness and Age, from the Keeping Gallery, which celebrates the life and work of the late Renate Keeping.
The Apples in Renate’s garden in Shortlands were a lasting source of inspiration to her and to this day there is a collection of last years fruits quietly rotting on the family piano. The artists eye is apparent in the large series of watercolours on this subject and the three dimensional stitched objects showing growth ripening and finally decay.
On show are a collection of art works both, two and three dimensional, depicting the elderly with keen observation and great
Born Renate Meyer in Berlin, her father, a doctor, realised that Jewish people would suffer in Hitler’s Germany, so the family came to Britain in 1933 as refugees and gained British citizenship in 1938.
At 17 Renate, with some difficulty, persuaded her parents to let her study art at the Regent Street Polytechnic (now part of the University of Westminster), in central London, promising she would absolutely not fall for a penniless art student. But she had been there for a only a short time when she met Charles Keeping, a Londoner who had served in the Royal Navy during the second world war; they fell in love and married in 1952.
Both were full-time artists: Charles developing into an outstanding illustrator, and Renate experimenting with a range of art forms, using paint, text, thread, papier-mache and textiles, as well as writing children’s books, teaching in further education and managing the home.
In 1988, Charles died. Their lives had been utterly intertwined, and so, at a loss without him, Renate created the Keeping Gallery in part of the house, to exhibit their work in the place where it had been made. She turned her life into art, throwing the gallery open to classes of children and adults. The keeping gallery may be visited by appointment. The next Knitting and Stitching show will be held at http://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/harrogate/ November 20th – 23rd