A Life in Colour is a retrospective exhibition featuring tapestries by Bernat Klein woven by Dovecot Studios, alongside other works by the designer whose signature vibrant mohair and tweed textiles were produced in the Scottish Borders for fashion houses in Europe.
Serbian-born Klein (1922-2014) studied textile technology at Leeds until 1948, after which he embarked upon a career designing woven textiles leading him to Edinburgh to work for Munrospun. In 1950 the company relocated to the Scottish Borders and two years later Klein established his own luxury textile enterprise, Colourcraft. Architect Peter Womersley was commissioned to modernise Colourcraft’s Netherdale Mill at Galashiels, and to design the award winning modernist house and studio near Selkirk where Klein remained until the end of his life.
As a reaction to the utilitarian and earthy colour schemes of 1950s Scottish fashion and interior textiles, colourist Klein embraced a bright new palette inspired by his natural surroundings. From his own Pointillist inspired oil paintings and designs for Chanel, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent fabrics, to the sumptuous furnishings and aspirational floral printed fashion synthetics seen in the iconic glamour photography of the 60s and 70s, colour technology was at the heart of Klein’s practice.
This eye for colour and design was applied to a variety of media by Klein, as illustrated in this exhibition of works spanning five decades, and including tapestries created in the 1970s with Dovecot.
Dovecot Gallery is proud to present this exhibition in recognition of the lasting contribution Klein made to Scotland’s international reputation for textile design and making.