Missed the Textile Design Forum event on 18 October with Pat Albeck & Emma Bridgewater at Keele Hall? No problem- here is a recording of the conversation. The sell-out event explored the extraordinary creative life of Pat Albeck, one of Britain’s best-loved textile designers. Joined on stage by her daughter-in-law Emma Bridgewater, Pat discussed examples of her work, her inspiration and her long and varied career, from her first days at the Royal College of Art in the 1950s, through to her work with John Lewis and the National Trust, and more recently, her designs for Emma Bridgewater.
The event marked the start of the ‘Back to the Drawing Board’ events series which celebrates the creative lives of Pat Albeck and her husband, Peter Rice, one of the preeminent stage and costume designers in modern British opera and theatre. An exhibition of their work, the centrepiece of the project (9 November-26 January, Keele University), also explores a fascinating family dynamic, for Pat and Peter are the parents of Matthew Rice, husband and business partner of Emma Bridgewater. Matthew is a gifted writer, designer and artist with a passion for architectural history; Emma Bridgewater is famously leading a ceramics revival in Stoke-on-Trent.
The project draws on the expertise of several Keele University academics and ties into the university’s many research themes, including the creative bonds between generations, the cultural heritage of the local community, and creative engagement in later life.
Staff and students from the Media, Communications and Culture programme have been centrally involved in the organisation of the project. I am producing a documentary film, also titled ‘Back to the Drawing Board’, on Pat Albeck and Peter Rice and have been assisted by Keele MCC students Sadhana Bharanidharan, Rebecca Bennett and Ioannis Georgiades in the making of the film. The film will have its inaugural screening on 24th January (details here) Two media projects produced by MCC students exploring industrial production in the Potteries will also feature in a satellite exhibition hosted in the Media Building. This work will be exhibited alongside a specially commissioned interactive installation ‘Pictures of the Future’ produced by Keele’s Centre for Community Animation and Social Innovation (CASIC) in collaboration with the New Vic Borderlines.
It’s an exciting programme of events and we look forward to welcoming you to Keele University and the Media Building for some of them!