Hatmaker Ann sews up her place in #Untitled 10 display at Bowes Museum
A DALE dressmaker and milliner was selected from more than 200 designers and makers to take her place in an exhibition at The Bowes Museum.
Ann Gill, who lives near Bowes, was one of 230 artisans who put themselves forward as part of an open call from the Bowes Centre for Art Craft and Design in April to take part in the project, which is concluding with the current #Untitled10: An Exhibition of Ideas.
The Bowes Centre, in collaboration with the museum and Create North, invited proposals from artists to take inspiration from various aspects of the museum, eventually choosing ten to take part.
The bespoke seamstress was inspired by the museum’s fashion and textile collection and was chosen as one of the final ten.
She said: “They were wanting to create new audiences for The Bowes Museum to show it is for everyone.
“I thought it was exciting and I wanted to get involved.
“I put a proposal in thinking they wouldn’t want me but I thought I would give it a go. You had to be inspired by one of the permanent exhibitions in the museum.
“They were interested to see how you connected it to the general public.”
She added: “I was really shocked when I found out I’d been chosen. I was jumping round the room.”
Ms Gill, who is also known as Lilyann Dress and Costume Design, has been dressmaking for more than 30 years.
Working from her home studio, she has experience in millinery and tailoring and teaches sewing. She also undertakes commission work.
She said: “When I left school I became more interested in sewing. I did things for me and friends and it went from there. My mum was a good sewer and my grandmother was too. I have always enjoyed arts and crafts.
“I’m not sure where the interest in hats came from. I have just always liked them and wanted to have a go at making them. I always like to have a go at new things.”
Specific items from the museum’s fashion and textile collection influenced Ms Gill’s work, such as Elsa Schiaparelli’s serpent dress.
Her work is documented in a reflective journal as well as examples of experimental techniques which are on display in the John and Josephine Story Gallery.
Ms Gill, who is also a member of Teesdale ArtNet, said: “It has been really good. I think I was the only one who had never done an open call before.
“I just thought I needed to get out of my comfort zone a bit. It has been really good for my confidence.
“I have wanted to get involved with The Bowes Museum for a while so I was really glad I did it. It is a bit of a feather in my cap and I hope to do more with the museum.”
Work from each of the artists will be on display in different spaces around the museum until January 11.