On Thursday 8 March 2018, a rug titled You Can Radiate Over Here, created at Dovecot in collaboration with artist Victoria Morton, was unveiled by commissioner The Perse School at its newly built Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre designed by architect Haworth Tompkins.
The project began in 2015, when Haworth Tompkins first contacted Dovecot with a concept for the 400 seat Performing Arts Centre which would include a textile art work for the main public space. The fully glazed foyer with its triple height fair faced concrete stair wall required a vibrant element to contrast against the self-finished building materials and relate to the surrounding landscape.
Dovecot proposed a list of contemporary artists to Haworth Tompkins, responding to a set of criteria including that the artist should have a connection to Cambridge and their work should be appropriate for interpretation in the textile medium. A short list of artists was selected by the commissioner The Perse School. The winning commissioned artist was Victoria Morton, a Glasgow based abstract painter whose work has crossed disciplines but never into textile before.
Dovecot have experience of collaborating with artists who cross boundaries and were delighted that Victoria Morton was selected as the artist for the commission as they knew her beyond disciplines approach would make for an exciting and artistically challenging textile. The main challenges for tufter Kristi Vana, was to establish a sense of Victoria Morton’s marks or ‘handwriting’, and to encapsulate the complexity of colour blending in wool as is present in the artist’s paintings. These design considerations were explored through a series of gun-tufted samples, which both the Dovecot team and Morton reviewed together, before approaching the final textile piece.