Tawdry, by Sophie Neville

Sorry, you missed this one!
Close up of crochet lace with wording 'Privilege, Criticism, Culture' on
Sun 21 Apr

Multiple days : The Atrium

Exhibit Textiles Drop-in Free
  • Parking
  • Disabled parking
  • Wheelchair access
  • Toilets
  • Disabled toilets
  • Changing places

The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1TF

01603 727 950

Women's work, appearance and expectations.

An exhibition by local textile artist, Sophie Neville, of text-based crochet lace artworks. The work is called Tawdry, inspired by the history of this word.

St Audrey's Fair (named after St Etheldreda) was held in Ely for several centuries, and was known as a place to buy a lace or ribbon necklace known as St Audrey's Lace, which became shorted to 'tawdry lace'.

As tastes changed the necklaces became viewed as poor quality and unfashionable and, by the 17th century, the word 'tawdry' came to mean cheap or gaudy, evolving further to mean illicit or immoral.

Crochet lace bib for dress with wording on.

Sophie's exhibition uses the ancient craft of hand stitching, historically viewed as women's work, to explore how the words we use to describe what is fashionable, or in good taste, are inextricably linked to ideas about women's appearance.

Sophie, a graduate of Norwich University of the Arts, held workshops with local women, and words generated in these workshops were used to create the crochet lace artworks.

They are displayed on seven mannequins, over gowns inspired by the bright colours of Ely Cathedral's stained-glass windows.

You can meet Sophie, crochet with her and discuss the Tawdry project, at The Forum on Sun 21 April. See below.