Our CEO on FCW & Gavin Turk work
The Gavin Turk show is closing on the 20th April, and my advice is to see it as fast as you can.
With total partiality, I can say that the main piece in the show, made up of forty 3” square panels embroidered by men and women in prison, is the most beautiful thing Fine Cell Work has ever made.
If you go up close to it, you will see it is swarming with life. Every panel is stitched in a different way - excitedly, heavily, exquisitely, punctiliously, madly, lyrically. Some are quiet and subtle and smooth. Others are innovative and defiant, with stitches formed in unorthodox ridges and rows.
Each panel is alive with the personality of the prisoner who stitched it. In each, an infinitesimal series of choices – length of stitch, number of threads, direction of stitch, bulk of stitch, “lay” of the stitch on the cloth – come together as something absolutely, uncopiably individual. Rather than fighting, the panels complement each other and give a sense of wonder that so much life can be contained in such a small space.
The colours sing like the stitches. Olive, seal, rust, lilac, lapis lazuli, a glut of oranges and a limey kind of old gold yellow are the ones I remember.
But most of all I remember the surge of happiness I felt when I first saw it. The fact that men and women in prison can collectively have realised such harmony and joy is a triumph.