Award-winning designer Ella Doran showcases the transformational tale of British wool at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) in her most ambitious project to date, from 15 June 2019 to 15 September 2019. Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor follows the journey of wool from the sheep which graze the historic landscape of the Park, from shearing to scouring, spinning to weaving and design to product development. The result is a display of beautiful bespoke furniture, furnishings and photographic prints, all of which are available to buy.
As an homage to local products, suppliers and processes, the exhibition highlights the importance of the circular economy in reducing waste and sustaining livelihoods and traditions. It shines a light on one of the most versatile, sustainable, abundant and undervalued of the UK’s agricultural products: wool. Doran has developed close working relationships with YSP’s neighbouring farmers, Philip and Charles Platt; British Wool, who hand graded the wool after shearing; Haworth Scouring, who scoured (cleaned) the wool ready for manufacturing; and British manufacturers, Camira and Alternative Flooring, who have transformed the raw material into beautiful products for the home.
Featuring Doran’s Waterlake design – a distinctive and colourful pattern inspired by the movement of water and the abundant flora on the estate at YSP – Camira have created an exquisite jacquard wool fabric which covers a custom-made chair conceived by British designer Julian Mayor and manufactured by Coakley & Cox. Created from one of YSP’s naturally storm-felled oaks, the chair is available in two colourways taken from hues found within the Park’s landscape. The wool also features in a unique floor runner produced by Alternative Flooring. Dyed to specific colours from Doran’s chosen palette, the yarn is woven on Axminster narrow- width looms to create a luxurious runner, bringing together traditional techniques and contemporary design, and providing a plush centrepiece to the exhibit.
Transforming YSP’s Upper Space into a contemporary living room, the exhibition features upholstered stools; tapestries; a series of photographs, which document YSP’s unique 500-acre landscape throughout the seasons; and abstracted screen prints. Doran has also collaborated with filmmaker Paul Wyatt to produce a short film featuring some of the key personalities involved in the project. Visitors can follow the unfolding story alongside the show. Ella Doran says “I am very excited to be working on this project with YSP, featuring the journey of British wool, culminating in my exhibition next June. It celebrates the Park’s resources, its beauty, and the joy of creativity and collaboration.
“Wool is a material that can demonstrate the circular economy in action. I hope to shed light on the amazing range of processes that wool goes through in order to become a finished product and how nothing goes to waste. It’s the industry famous for coining the phrase ‘where there’s muck there’s brass’.” Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor extends YSP’s relationship with Doran, which began in 2017 when the artist created a bespoke product range, in celebration of the Park’s 40th anniversary. The range includes an apron, cushion, tea towel and chopping board and is available from YSP Shop. Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor is supported by Camira, Alternative Flooring, Campaign for Wool and British Wool. YSP has led successful exhibitions with some of the UK’s best-known artists and designers including Norman Ackroyd, Mister Finch, Mark Hearld, Angie Lewin, Emily Sutton, Rob Ryan, and Alice Pattullo. YSP Shop showcases original work by international artists and contemporary designers and makers. Ella Doran, Waterlake fabric.