York Castle Museum

Community Room

York Castle Museum’s Community Room is a space for community groups and organisations to create their own displays based on our exhibition 1914: When the World Changed Forever.

Current Exhibition: Threads of War – Legacy of the Great War

29 October 2018 – 31 January 2019

The First World War changed the world forever… but what exactly did it change? What was the Legacy of the Great War?

The works from our latest exhibition cannot wholly answer that question. What they do is knit together a range of individual responses by the exhibitors, covering such diverse themes as:

  • remembering those lost
  • the impact of influenza
  • hopes and plans for the future
  • women’s suffrage
  • regrowth and renewal of shattered lands

These works were created by members of the Threads of War, an informal textile group made up of mainly textile artists.

The group began in 2013, initially making art quilts exploring the images of landscape devastated by the Great War; this rapidly expanded to include all mixed media and very different techniques.

Other major themes developed. An important one was respecting those who had served and recognising their concepts of duty and bravery and how companionship had sustained them.

Over the next four years the collection grew, and has been exhibited in a range of venues from national museums to small local galleries and churches.

The exhibitions (and the group) are being wound down as we move through the period of the Armistice from November 1918 to June 1919 and the Treaty of Versailles. Their task is ended.

The materials used to create this exhibition include fabric, beads, canvas, paper, silks, paints, felts, plastic, wire, wood and leather.

Previous Exhibition: Threads of War – Love and Loss in The Great War

16 July 2018 – 17 October 2018

Running through the history of the First World War are stories of love and hope, of loss and bereavement, of grateful survival. Using the motif of a heart, this exhibition brings together some of those themes through original and striking mixed media pieces.

Some of the hearts are from a much larger Untangled Threads exhibition of 100 Sawdust Hearts, based on the sweetheart pincushions made by soldiers recovering in hospital. Many record family histories and celebrate survival and the continuation and hope for the future, whilst others reflect a bitter despair at the futility of war.

Other hearts and works are on loan from the West Riding Ruggers. Inspired by their own family histories, and using traditional rag rugging and embroidery techniques, they have created joyous and colourful hearts which have now become family heirlooms.

Within the exhibition there are links between the First and Second World Wars: fathers fight in one war, sons and daughters in the next; their families continue into the next century.

A diverse range of materials have been used to create these works:

  • glass
  • wools
  • felts
  • silks
  • cotton
  • wood
  • paper
  • hessian
  • muslin
  • rope
  • canvas
  • board
  • metals