Baths and Bathers was created to observe Dovecot’s move to its new home at the restored Victorian swimming baths on Infirmary Street in 2008.
The tapestry shows bathing figures depicted by various artists throughout the ages, including Ingres’ Odalisque and a young boy calling out from Seurat’s celebrated Bathers at Asnieres to the humorously placed shark by Damien Hirst. Bathers by Matisse and Bonnard also feature and are all arranged on a backdrop redolent of Hockney’s pool painting.
The bright ceramic tiles in the design reflect the colours of wool on the spools ready for use in the new tapestry studio, and a towel is flung playfully over the Balcony. The tapestry is a nod to the artist and weaver’s collaborative relationship. This woven piece is a homage to the work of the represented artists but also highlights the Dovecot weaver’s skill for interpretation.