new exhibitions

181 Bow Rd, E3 2SJ
020 8980 7774

Tue-Sun 10-5

undergroundBow Road/Bow Church / Bus 8, 25, 108, 205, 276

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Apr 18 - Jun 24, 2018
The Raw Materials project traces the industrial history of east London along the River Lea, supported by The National Lottery with funds awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund. This year the project has followed textiles, exploring a history of silk-weaving, calico printing, jute spinning and the invention of dye colours. Visit to discover and remember these newly unearthed histories of east London.
The exhibition includes loans of historic fabric produced in the area – including a Georgian calico from Old Ford courtesy of the V&A and a River Lea-inspired design by William Morris – alongside newly commissioned contemporary work from resident artists Freya Gabie and Sarah Desmarais. The show is accompanied by a lively event programme, including walking and boat tours, artist-led workshops and panel discussions.
press release

May 26, 2018 12:00pm - 4:00pm talk/event
A creative and fun afternoon for families with children (aged 5+) to explore textiles with artist-duo Kaleidoworks.
Taking place in Bow Arts’ outdoor covered courtyard, the afternoon will be a chance to explore hands-on textile processes alongside experimental moving-image. Working playfully with tactile and digital techniques participants will illuminate some of east London’s textile heritage and uncover some surprising results.
Light refreshments will be provided but please bring along any lunch / picnic, or alternatively there is a Carmelite café at the Nunnery gallery.
Read more about the Raw Materials: Textiles exhibition
*All children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Book via eventbrite:
Max 25 places

May 27, 2018 11:00am - 3:00pm talk/event
Colouring in Place is a natural dye and quilting event, inviting people to help make a map of the plants and trees they appreciate in east London while trying out natural dye and quilting techniques.
Participants will be invited to share their stories of local plant life either online or at the event. These stories will then be used for the quilt map, dyeing and adding cloth using plants as inspiration. Slowly a dye palette of east London will build, creating a map of the plants that are noticed and appreciated by people in the local area.
In collaboration with Chelsea Fringe
Read more about the Raw Materials: Textiles exhibition
Book via Eventbrite

May 31, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm talk/event
Location and Innovation
The River Lea has been a long-standing location of innovation for the textile industry, from the early patent of madder printing in the 17th century to 19th century discoveries in synthetic dyes. Chaired by Anna Fitzpatrick, join us for a panel discussion with speakers Mary Schoeser, Katelyn Toth-Fejel and other guests, to explore the importance of the textile heritage in east London.
Anna Fitzpatrick has a background in both fashion and politics and now works to combine the two wherever possible. Anna currently works at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) at the London College of Fashion UAL, where she also teaches Cultural and Historical Studies.
Mary Schoeser is an internationally respected textile and wallpaper historian who has published widely and has worked in collaboration with the V&A, English Heritage, National Trust and Museum of Modern Art, New York
Katelyn Toth-Fejel is an artist, designer, teacher and natural dye specialist, as well as a partner of the design collective Here Today Here Tomorrow with a studio and shop in east London.
Read more about the Raw Materials: Textiles exhibition
Book via Eventbrite
Adults £5
Concessions: £3 (available to Bow Arts artists, students, under 18s and over 65s)
*MAX 80 ticket

Jun 7, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm talk/event
Join us for the final late night opening of Raw Materials: Textiles – a last chance to explore the industrial history of the River Lea through the raw material textiles.
Resident artist Freya Gabie will join us to talk about her three works in the exhibition, each of which examines a different part of this rich fabric of history: jute, black mourning crepe and the dye / explosive TNT. Gabie’s conceptual approach draws out the poignant narratives behind the research uncovered in the project.
Read more about the Raw Materials: Textiles exhibition

Jun 9, 2018 1:00pm - 4:00pm talk/event
Join Raw Materials: Textiles resident artist Freya Gabie to create a giant, architectural ‘danced’ weaving. Using the physical space of the Bow Arts Victorian industrial courtyard and the movement of our bodies, we will create a woven sculptural installation that spans, intercepts and connects space. The sculpture will be constructed from jute, the raw material used in factories along the River Lea over the last two hundred years to produce ropes and twines.
Read more about the Raw Materials: Textiles exhibition


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