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William Morris Gallery exceeds crowdfunding target for Clare Twomey installation

The William Morris Gallery is celebrating after successfully crowdfunding its next exhibition – a major new installation by ceramicist Clare Twomey.

The Gallery, home to the world’s largest collection of Morris’s work, asked Twomey to develop a proposal for a Morris-inspired installation this summer.

The Art Fund helped the Gallery raise £10,000 towards the cost of realising Twomey’s plans through its crowdfunding platform Art Happens. With two days to go the Gallery had reached its target thanks to the support of almost 200 individual donors. This is the first time the Gallery, which is owned and run by Waltham Forest Council, has funded an exhibition in this way.

The installation, titled Time Present and Time Past, will see Twomey create a vast tile panel embellished with Morris’s intricate Chrysanthemum design. Over 67 days, 67 members of the public will undertake the role of “apprentice”, working alongside Twomey’s master painter to apply gold enamel to the surface. Visitors will be able to witness the panel’s slow transformation from one state of beauty to another.

The process of recruiting the apprentices, which is free, has already begun. Anyone aged 16 or over can enter the ballot to become an apprentice for the day. You don’t have to have any experience in painting or working with ceramics, instead you will be trained on the job by one of Twomey's master painters. The day starts at 10am, with an one hour break for lunch, and finishes at 4pm. Places are available Wednesdays to Sundays - enter the ballot online.

Council Leader Chris Robbins said: “This is a really exciting project and I’m pleased the public got behind it. There were of course some great rewards on offer to donors, but we wouldn’t have achieved our target if it wasn’t for Clare’s vision for the new exhibition. Clare is widely regarded as one of our most important and innovative ceramicists – and her installation will bring a fascinating new perspective on Morris’s ideas and ideals.”

Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said: “We’re delighted that the William Morris Gallery’s Art Happens campaign was so successful, showing there is great public enthusiasm for their ambitious project with artist Clare Twomey.  Her vision to work with apprenticed members of the public chimes with William Morris’ belief in art for all and we’re pleased to have played a part in bringing this inspiring project to life.”

Notes to editors

Clare Twomey: Time Present and Time Past

William Morris Gallery

18 June to 18 September 2016

Wednesday to Sunday, 10am - 5pm. Free entry.

For further information and images please contact Ian Mason:

Tel: 020 8496 4726

Mob: 07740 046143


William Morris Gallery

The William Morris Gallery is the only public Gallery devoted to William Morris: designer, craftsman and radical socialist. Housed in the grade II* listed building that was Morris's family home from 1848 to 1856, the Gallery reopened in August 2012 following a major redevelopment that attracted widespread public and press acclaim.

Since its re-launch the Gallery has developed an ambitious contemporary programme, hosting Morris-inspired exhibitions by artists including Grayson Perry, Jeremy Deller, Yinka Shonibare and Bob and Roberta Smith.

The Gallery, which is owned and run by Waltham Forest Council, was awarded the Art Fund prize for Museum of the Year in 2013 and was nominated for the European Museum of the Year Award in 2014.

Clare Twomey

Clare Twomey (b.1968) is a British artist and a research fellow at the University of Westminster who works with clay in large-scale installations, sculptural and site-specific work. Over the past 10 years she has exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate, Crafts Council, Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, Japan, Eden Project, Royal Academy of Arts and Gardiner Museum, Toronto. Her work often involves elements of performance or participation, inviting the audience to play an active role and exploring the relationship between people and materials.

The Art Fund

The Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. In the past five years it has given £34 million to help museums and galleries acquire works of art for their collections. The Art Fund also helps museums share their collections with wider audiences by supporting a range of tours and exhibitions (including ARTIST ROOMS and the 2013-18 exhibition tour of Tate’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows by John Constable) and makes additional grants to support the training and professional development of curators.

The Art Fund is independently-funded, with the core of its income provided by 122,000 members who receive the National Art Pass and enjoy free entry to over 225 museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions. In addition to grant-giving, the Art Fund’s support for museums includes the annual Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year, a publications programme and a range of digital platforms.

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