Harewood Biennial 2024: Create/Elevate at Harewood House

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor
a large room filled with colourful artworks of all shapes and sizes
Image supplied by Leeds Inspired

Harewood Biennial 2024: Create/Elevate at Harewood House, Leeds 28 June — 20 October 2024 Tickets from £14.00 — Book now

Now in its third edition, the tagline for this year’s Harewood Biennial is “the power of craft knowledge to bring people together to make a new world”. Indeed, the event gathers 16 makers and collectives from all around the world to present their works, celebrating the power of craft and its ability to connect generations and continents. The exhibitions also includes four new commissions from artists Mani Kambo, Arabeschi di Latte, Kusheda Mensa and Lucia Pizzani. 

Harewood Biennial is organised into three themes, all of which work in dialogue with one another: ‘New Narratives’ spotlights work connected to Harewood House collections, ‘The Use of Land’ is related to ecology on a local and global scale and ‘Nourish’ gathers works that explore the sharing of food and knowledge. It’s important to mention too that the exhibits can be found around the house itself but also in the gardens, creating new ways to interact with the spaces.

It’s difficult to pick just a few highlights from such a varied, high-quality showcase but let’s try! 

Common Threads is a fantastic example of the collaborative potential of craft. Initiated by textile artist Alice Kettle in Karachi, it is a women’s collaborative embroidery project that joins together the work of artisans from the Ra’ana Liaquat Craftsmen’s Colony (RLCC), and developed by women from the South Asian diaspora in Burnley and Bristol and now with the Shantona Women’s Group in Leeds. The gorgeously stitched, multi-coloured panels record domestic and family motifs.

Out in the grounds you’ll find London-based Venezuelan artist Lucia Pizzani who worked with Harewood’s head gardener Trevor Nicholson to create a new sculptural installation Cultivo y Memoria (Crop and Memory) in the Walled Vegetable Garden. He utilises the concept of ‘the three sisters’, a method of companion planting where corn, beans and squash are grown together. This relates back to ancestral knowledge and vegetal spirituality.

Rasad is a large-scale collaborative installation from Dhaka-based artist collective Britto Arts Trust. Each element of this impressive piece is individually handcrafted from ceramic, metal, fabric, embroidery as well as natural spices and seeds. Rasad comments on the global food trade and the related extractivism and legacy of colonialism. It was first shown at Documenta 15 in 2022 so this is your chance to see it first hand in the UK. 

This is just a snapshot of the work on display at Create/ Elevate. You’ll also find smaller-scale work such as Rosa Harradine’s beautifully handcrafted brooms and brushes, Rebecca Chesney’s land and weather-related works in the form of flags, Xanthe Sommers’ ceramic pieces and many others. Don’t miss this inspiring event where craft takes centre stage. 

Harewood Biennial 2024: Create/Elevate at Harewood House, Leeds 28 June — 20 October 2024 Tickets from £14.00 Book now

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