Teeswater Year – Farm • Fleece • Fashion

28 February to 22 April 2020

This exhibition features the work of Nidderdale based photographer Melissa Peakman and feltmaker Yvonne Le Mare. Melissa documented Teeswater Sheep and their breeders over 12 months, in fields, barns and show rings. Her often gritty images contrast with Yvonne’s beautifully crafted, colourful feltwork, which transforms humble fleece and locks into sophisticated, stylish textiles. The Teeswater fleeces used by Yvonne are from Andrew Fisher, of Low Laithe.

Melissa Peakman

“I’m a Nidderdale based documentary photographer and I’ve been following and photographing the Teeswater sheep breed for the last couple of years, visiting farms in North Yorkshire to put together images for the exhibition. Along the way, I’ve met with the talented Summerbridge based textile artist Yvonne Le Mare, who creates felted garments and artworks, into which she incorporates the distinctive, curly locks from the Teeswater sheep. For the exhibition, Yvonne has created a seamless Nuno-felted Wedding Dress incorporating over half a kilo of Teeswater locks, as a ‘show-stopper’ piece.” Melissa Peakman

The exhibition will bring together Melissa Peakman’s photographs, telling the behind the scenes story of the Teeswater sheep breed alongside Yvonne Le Mare’s stunning felted creations.

“I’ve been supported along the way by the Teeswater Sheep Breeders’ Association and by local farmers and sheep breeders, many of whom have come together to crowdfund printing costs for the exhibition, which will promote Teeswater sheep to a wider audiences.” Melissa Peakman

Early photographs from the project appeared on the cover and alongside an article in Farmers Mart magazine in May 2018.

Yvonne Le Mare

Yvonne is a Nidderdale based textile artist who uses the traditional and historical techniques of felt-making as a springboard to explore, manipulate, and transform a wide range of natural fibres and fabrics, thus giving this ancient craft a contemporary and sophisticated edge. 

She particularly enjoys creating felted garments and artworks using the distinctive, curly locks from the Teeswater sheep.

She delights in both the process and the basic natural ingredients of wool, silk, and plant fibres, finding that the art of feltmaking has its own energy and dynamism – it can be light and delicate, painterly or structured and solid.  It is an immensely versatile, thrilling adventure, and by combining techniques gives a creative freedom to use an infinite variety of shape, pattern, colour and texture.

Her aim is to bring feltmaking to a wider public and to break down the boundaries that have traditionally existed between art, design and craft by highlighting the wonderful potential of wool!

Yvonne is a Member of the International Feltmakers Association and The Craven Guild of Handspinners, Weavers & Dyers.

Event venue/meeting point:
Dales Countryside Museum
Station Yard
North Yorkshire

Directions to venue/meeting point:
Dales Countryside Museum is housed in the old railway station at Hawes, just off the main A684 in Wensleydale.
Grid reference: SD 876898

For further information or to book, contact:
Tel: 01969 666210
Email: hawes@yorkshiredales.org.uk