St Andrew’s Church in Helpringham is set to host its first Arts and Crafts event as part of an effort to reach out to the local community and visitors from further afield. Set to take place over four days, the event will also welcome invited guests, including Moira West.

Born in Leeds and resident in Lincolnshire since 1989, Moira studied at De Montfort University and the Open College of the Arts and was awarded a first-class honours degree in Creative Arts. Her practice straddles the boundary between fine art and craft, exploring ideas through making.

“I am delighted to have been asked to exhibit at the first Arts and Crafts event in St Andrew’s Church, Helpringham,” Moira says.“Villagers have suggested that their church could have more community-based events, which would help the church become more of a focal point within the life of the village.

“This provides me with an exciting opportunity to bring work spanning 12 years. My first solo exhibition in 2010, ‘Sense of Felt’, focused on human frailty and strength, requiring visitors to touch, and engage with, the work. Subsequent exhibitions contained works along the same lines but have been linked to communication, human ingenuity, and adaptability. This exhibition is intended to allow visitors to use not only their visual sense, but all of their senses, with the exception of taste – although refreshments are available”.

Much of Moira’s work is site-specific and she has exhibited at Lincoln’s Usher Gallery, Stamford Arts Centre and Rufford Craft Gallery. Working methods embrace handmade felting processes, incorporating traditional and contemporary techniques. Wool fibres predominate, integrated with plant and cellulose fibres, to create unusual shapes and textures. Her work invites interaction and personal confrontation with life and its unexpected pathways.

Moira has a reputation for creating striking, fascinating and unusual fibre art, many examples of which are in private collections. Combining textile technique with a diverse range of challenging materials, her work is inspired by the natural world and a desire to push boundaries, while creating impact and promoting greater understanding of human frailty.

The event begins on Thursday, 4th July and ends on Sunday, 7th July 2019. Entry is free and the hours are 10am to 4pm from Thursday until Saturday, and then 12pm until 4pm on the Sunday.

In addition, on Saturday, 6th July, felt maker and textile artist Karen Lane will demonstrate felt making, and will also have examples of her own work available to view. There will be a variety of crafts available to buy throughout the event, including fleece from the local eco farm, and the children from the village primary school will be showing some of their work. If you are lucky, there will also be an opportunity to see lambs in the churchyard. Refreshments will be served across the four days.

On the Sunday (from 1pm until 3pm), there is also a slow-stitch event, and anyone can bring their own work and join in.

More information about the Moira West may be found on her website, and more information on the church is available here.