Richard Bliss: The Quest for the Perfect Shirt / Workers’ Thread

10am – 4pm

Bishop Auckland Town Hall

A double exhibition by Richard Bliss, an artist/tailor who works from his studio in Durham at Ushaw Historic House and Gardens.

The Quest for the Perfect Shirt is a project exploring the production and presentation of masculinity by making shirts in public places. Each shirt has been made as a response to either a single conversation, or group conversations about masculinity. The exhibition at Bishop Auckland Town Hall is the first time that the whole collection of shirts will be presented to the public.

Workers’ Thread celebrates the contribution of working class women and men to the history of Durham. Kitty Grady’s dress recalls a story of how Kitty used to sneak bread and cheese to the hungry boys (student priests) at Ushaw College and the Socials Pioneers’ Coat is inspired by a photograph of some of the ‘Pioneer’ women of Newton Aycliffe.

The women are proudly displaying their Labour Party Women’s Section banner wearing fabulous ‘New Look’ coats, and, as part of this collection, The Quarryman’s to Gentleman’s Waistcoat is also on permanent display next to our library.

Consett Workers’ Thread celebrates all the people who have kept the Empire Consett alive for over 100 years. The shirts represent the stories of local actress Ruth Reed (Annie Get Your Gun), projectionist Judith Adamson (Projectionist’s Shirt) and Douglas (Dougie) Wray (The Dame’s Shirt).

Richard Bliss is present in the gallery every Wednesday from 12 – 4pm undertaking ‘live sewing’ and conversations as he adds to his collection.

Market Place Bishop Auckland Co. Durham DL14 7NP

13 September—30 November 2023

  • Mon 10am – 4pm
  • Tue 10am – 4pm
  • Wed 10am – 4pm
  • Thu 10am – 4pm
  • Fri 10am – 4pm
  • Sat 10am – 4pm
  • Adapted toilets
  • Lifts to all floors
  • Induction loop system available
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