Embroidery exhibition at Cumberland Lodge seeks to explore the mystery of faith

A new exhibition that attempts to capture the nature of faith has been installed at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park, featuring hand embroidery by the artist, poet and lawyer Romola Parish.

‘Crying in the Silicon Wilderness’ features 14 original works, each of which was designed as a contemporary icon, to inspire meditation, prayer or reflection.

Together, the works form a sequence or a journey, and their captions serve as prompts to stimulate thought and reflection rather than explanations.

The exhibition is accompanied by a book that teams each work of art with a poem by the artist, to further expand on the meanings behind the images and to explore the interface between words and images.

The book also includes an introduction by Romola, some extended meditations, and information about the embroidery techniques used in the exhibition.

Romola trained at the Royal School of Needlework after completing a Masters degree in Creative Writing, specialising in poetry, at the University of Oxford.

She also works in the City as a planning and environment lawyer and she was formerly a geographer, with an academic interest in desert and mountain environments.

Speaking about her art, she said: “My creative work seeks to bring into the light, and give expression to, things that are hidden or mute, or that ghost beneath the surface. Faith is trans-rational and I found that a creative approach to it helped me in my own explorations into what it is that I believe.”

Romola trained in traditional hand embroidery techniques, including Jacobean crewel-work and Elizabethan gold-work. She uses this rigorous grounding as a starting point but adapts the stitch-work to create specific effects and textures, mixing gold-work with crewel work, and incorporating additional techniques such as raised embroidery, quilting, beadwork and felting.

Romola is also Creative Director of the Creative Arts Retreat Movement (CARM), which pairs up Christian ministers with creative people for retreats, in which they are encouraged to find the time and space to meditate and explore their faith through creative exercises.

Cumberland Lodge will be hosting public open mornings for the exhibition on the following Saturdays, from 10am-12pm:

  • 8 July 2017
  • 15 July 2017
  • 22 July 2017
  • 5 August 2017
  • 16 September 2017
  • 7 October 2017
  • 21 October 2017

Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.

To find out more, or to arrange a private viewing, contact Emma Albery, our Friends, Alumni and Outlook Officer, at ealbery@cumberlandlodge.ac.uk or on 01784 497790.