hankies flying, do swing by

Opening of the hankie show at LPT. Photos by Florence Hawkins

We welcomed a great crowd to the printworks last Tuesday, to the opening of our first ever ‘open’: The Hankie Show. Many of the handkerchief makers had cut a swathe across London to meet, spot their hankies, and compare notes, techniques and ideas with fellow contributors. Thankfully, Florence and Maciek had helped devise and make a structure by which the works could all hang on washing lines at eye level- the rewards of close inspection were plentiful- beautiful embroideries, witty lines, the hankie as a nifty home for detail!


Works by: Sarah Campbell, Margaret Barrett,  and Iris Francisco

I was too busy chatting and selling hankies to take any pictures, but here are a few from a sunlit afternoon later that week. I hung the show in seven themes in order to showcase the variety of approaches, and mix up the works submitted, so that all the work could be displayed side by side, regardless of who was behind it. My cunning plan was to think of diverse categories, like a poetry anthologist: the sections that emerged were: mysterious materials,Image

Works by Clare Patey and Tim Mitchell, Fiona King, Chantal Coady, Jane Millar

(for designs that played with the medium), snot funny, (for jokes),


works by Jane Smith, Gary Greene, Lani Irving

animal helpers and bogeymen, (excellent to have at the ready in a pocket)


works by Helen Truran, Phil Baird, Annabelle Burridge

snowflakes, keepsakes and pocket poems, (often exquisite observations on loss)


works by Gwendy Jones, Tatjana Abrendt, Hannah Weedon

rallies on the square, (for political commemorations or sloganeering)


works by Matthew Meadows, Dia Batal

nights on the town, (hankies for dandies, perhaps to drop, flirtatiously)


works by David Holah, Trinity Mitchell

and the magician’s flourish (irresistable pattern, colourful fanfares…) see opening image.

It was exciting to see the printworks filled with guests, all eagerly looking at the sea of visual delights filling the room. The atmosphere was of shared enjoyment, every small square with so much to say, and each one speaking in its own distinct, particular voice. Huge thanks to all who contributed, to the LPT crew who have supported the project, and also to the excellent visitors, who handed over cash donations for hand printed cloth, as well as kind words and sighs of wonder! Amazingly we are still getting some late offerings, which I will aim to squeeze onto our groaning washing lines. I already had to bring in my print browser from home…

Do come by and see the show, it will be up until 14th December, and we are open 6 days a week, 9.30 till 5.30, tucked between Nat West and Morleys, slantingly opposite Brixton tube, one flight up at 7  Piano House, easy really!

This entry was posted in 2011 Artist in Residence: Sophie Herxheimer and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to hankies flying, do swing by

  1. Jane Schofield says:

    … so wish I could have seen this show, but sadly just too far away in Devon.
    Now sobbing into one of my fabulous art deco hankies from the 1930s…..

  2. Karin says:

    This just found me. coool idea. I will work on it as an idea to incorporate into my workshops and perhaps fund raiser too.

  3. Laura says:

    Sophie—Oh to live in your wonderful world of creativity! This show looks marvelous, and a treat for all who participated and came to view. Slogging it out here in snowy cold Montana, doing interior design for those who appreciate it–and for those who don’t—I MUST create something as fun as the Hankie Show to release my inner creative being—-wish me luck and swish of lightweight cotton! :}

    • sophieherx says:

      How lovely to hear from you Laura, I wave a hankie to you across the wide Atlantic. We’d like a snowy Montana with embroidered rustic Americana to add to our gritty south London washing lines! Do get your needle and thread out… I’ve been lucky to have this lovely residency to give me the excuse to set up a show…definitely good luck and magic swishes to you!

  4. Lani Irving says:

    Wish I could’ve come down from Manchester, the show looks lovely! Unlikely that I will have chance before it comes down, unfortunately 😦

    Mine is the human rhinovirus embroidery!

    • sophieherx says:

      Hello Lani, everyone has really enjoyed your witty and imaginative hankie, it’s attracted a lot of smiles, comments and admiration. I’m sorry I got so caught up in the curating process I did not respond to your letter, another time! I’ll be writing to all the contributors later this week about returning work etc. Hope all is going well with the threaded needles of Manchester.

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