Exhibitions & Events

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The Goldsmiths Textile Collection and Constance Howard Gallery are pleased to present an exhibition by the winner of the Christine Risley Award 2019, Farrah Riley-Gray.

Work included in the exhibition 'Mary Ball (1922-2006): Retrospective'

Farrah Riley-Gray : Knotted

Riley-Gray's practice deals with misogynoir with a current focus on hair within black cultures. She is also interested in the rituals behind textiles and weaving, examining the way in which materials can convey relationships between culture, race and gendered product making, as well as their potential to hold diasporic stories absent from other historical or archival sources.

The exhibition, 'Knotted', features her degree show work, which the judging panel praised for its combination of aesthetics and politics in a carefully considered and expertly executed combination of textile and sound work. ‘I Exist as Cocoa Butter and Mangos’ consists of a blanket constructed from handwoven squares of black hair made by the artist on a small portable loom. In the words of guest judge Dr. Christine Checinska (Artist, writer, Designer):

‘The textures, the techniques in crafting black hair, the subtle differences in colour from jet black to mahogany brown was a quiet statement in the ‘good hair/bad hair’ conundrum rooted in enslavement that black women are forced to navigate at an inner level before finding themselves’.

The intimacy of the blanket is paralleled in the accompanying sound work ’I Dream in Shea Butter and Blue Magic’. Spoken word quietly emanates from speakers placed either side of a bench from which to view the textile. Drawing on Farrah’s own daily experiences, the words document the experiences of many black women.

The Christine Risley Award is a cash prize awarded by the Goldsmiths Textile Collection & Constance Howard Gallery to a graduating Goldsmiths student for outstanding work relating to textiles, in memory of Christine Risley.

If you need any more information about the Exhibition please see the Christine Risley Award page


30 September – 4 November 2019, Mon-Fri 11am-5pm
Opening Reception Friday 27 September 5-8pm
Late opening: Friday 25 October, 6-9pm
Weekend opening: Saturday 26 October, 11am-7pm.

Farrah Riley-Gray: Knotted is supported by The Constance Howard Gallery and Goldsmiths Textile Collection.

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Talking Textiles

Talking Textiles

Talking Textiles is a get-together for anybody interested in textiles and curious to find out more about the Goldsmiths Textile Collection. A small selection of textiles from the Goldsmiths Textile Collection is available for viewing and informal discussion at the Constance Howard Gallery.  Attendees are invited to continue the discussion over tea and coffee after the session.

Constance Howard Gallery, Deptford Town Hall basement.

Upcoming dates

Friday 8 November (Rescheduled from March)

This session will be led by Tiya Dahyabhai (RCA). We will be looking at a variety of cords featured amongst a selection of objects from the Goldsmiths Textile Collection. Various techniques will be explored through discussing their cultural and historical significance.

Talking Textiles will be followed by a practical workshop (limited to 16 places). Tiya will be helping participants make cord using Kumihimo disks, braiding stars and circular weaving cards.

Talking Textiles: 1-2.30 pm (Constance Howard Gallery)

No booking necessary

Workshop: 2.30-3.30pm (DTH B9)

Booking soon (priority will be given to previously booked participants).  Activities in the workshop will relate to the discussion during Talking Textiles, so please attend this too. Materials will be provided.