Profile
Heallreaf
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Heallreaf

Heallreaf began in 2014 in a boardroom near Buckingham Palace. The interview with 10 trustees of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (Qest) was the final stage of my successful bid for a scholarship from the Trust to help pay for the final year of MFA at West Dean College," says artist eaver Margaret Jones. "Part of my commitment to Qest was to attempt to place modern tapestry back in the fine art world where it started all those centuries ago. As I approached the end of my final year at West Dean college in 2015, I saw an opportunity to fulfil that obligation. The students studios would be empty during the summer so I asked the college if I could use the space to hold an exhibition, they agreed and Heallreaf was born." The name Heallreaf was chosen after many hours unsuccessfully searching the internet for a suitable tapestry related word. "I finally resorted to emailing Steve Pollington, a specialist in the Old English language and he assured me that all the other Old English words I suggested were assumed words and not found in any text, whereas 'Heallreaf' was a real word found in an Anglo Saxon will and it means 'a tapestry hung in a public place'. So Heallreaf it was, pronounced 'hair-l-reff. Heallreaf means a lot to me and since setting it I have maintained several important guidelines. Foremost is that anyone can enter work; the artist does not have to be a member of any particular group or have any formal qualification in tapestry weaving. Equally important is that the jury process is kept anonymous; only work considered by the jurors to be of appropriate standard will be selected, no-one will be included or excluded because they are well-known or unknown in the tapestry world."

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