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Launch Press Release

Harewood Biennial 2022 to explore narratives of social and environmental purpose in the work of 15 contemporary craftspeople, designers and initiatives.

Saturday 26 March to Monday 29 August 2022
Harewood House, Leeds

  • The second edition of the Harewood Biennial is called Radical Acts. It will bring to life craft knowledge and practice through new and existing works from 15 practitioners, throughout the state floor and grounds around Harewood House.
  • Curated by Hugo Macdonald, the Biennial explores why craft is a radical act, helping us to address urgent crises in contemporary life, and offering a future where individuals, communities and societies operate within healthier systems.
  • In advance of the exhibition, a programme of films launch today and podcasts from 1 November 2021, introducing the work and principles of seven of the exhibitors (at harewood.org/biennial).

19 October 2021

Opening on 26 March 2022, the second edition of the Harewood Biennial Radical Acts: Why Craft Matters will take place across the grounds and interiors of Harewood House, an accredited museum and charity located just outside of Leeds. The Biennial traces and builds on the great craftsmanship in the House, from the largest commission of Chippendale in the 18th-century, to the present day.

The meaning of ‘radical’ can be traced back to the word ‘root’, and in Radical Acts craft is presented as a bridge between our roots and our future. Each exhibitor tackles an urgent issue of modern life with a resourceful attitude and hopeful intent, using their craft to reflect on human connection, social equality and representation, climate change and conservation, material potential and natural resources, land use and landfill.

Many exhibitors will explore Harewood’s own roots and its future, as the Trust continues to re-imagine what makes a historic house and its landscape relevant in the 21st century. They will also reflect on, and respond to, important conversations around restoration and repair, regeneration and wellbeing. It is the Biennial’s ambition to entertain and engage Harewood’s audience with optimistic messages to inspire and empower visitors to think and act with purpose in their own daily lives.

The exhibitors taking part in the Harewood Biennial 2022 are:

Mac Collins, Sebastian & Brogan Cox, Eunhye Ko, Fernando Laposse, Michael Marriott, Bobby Mills, Francisca Onumah, Celia Pym, and Robin Wood; as well as Ilse Crawford & Nanimarquina, Margent Farm, Good Foundations International, Retrouvius and the Community Clothing Initiative.

Further details of their participation will be announced in the coming months.

Launching today, audiences can get a preview of some of the thought-provoking works through a digital Biennial programme. A set of short films unveils the backgrounds and radical acts of Mac Collins, Sebastian Cox and Patrick Grant’s Community Clothing Initiative, alongside a series of insightful podcasts (which will be available from 1 November) with Celia Pym, Michael Marriott, Fernando Laposse and Retrouvius.

Films are available to view now at harewood.org/biennial and podcasts will be launched on 1 November. The digital programme includes:

Mac Collins

Mac Collins is a designer, maker and artist who creates narrative-rich works that often explore his Caribbean heritage. As part of the Biennial, he is designing a site-specific furniture commission in The Cinnamon Drawing Room, responding to the portraits of the Lascelles family ancestors that line the walls. These pieces will encourage visitors to reflect on Harewood’s roots, namely the historical link between Harewood House and the West Indian sugar trade.

Celia Pym

Celia Pym is a textile artist, whose work explores social aspects of care and repair by telling stories of people and their relationship to their clothing. Pym has undertaken a residency at Harewood, and will be setting up a ‘mending desk’ for a week during the Biennial, asking Harewood’s caretakers, staff and volunteers to bring a garment that needs repairing, in exchange for a story of how these individuals care, repair and look after the Harewood.

Sebastian Cox

Sebastian Cox is a furniture designer, maker and environmentalist who creates and curates spaces and objects that challenge our conditioned preconceptions of rural landscapes. In this film, Cox describes his manifesto ‘Modern life from wilder land,’ and offers his thoughts for the Biennial which will explore the balance between tamed landscape and the wild beauty of the natural world.

Jane Marriott, Director of Harewood House Trust, says:

‘The Harewood Biennial is a bold exhibition for our times, exploring the transformative power of craft and creativity, which connects people and empowers communities. Inspired by our diverse history, collections and landscape, the show invites our visitors to learn more about Harewood’s past as we continue to look towards its future. We are incredibly excited to work with these talented makers; to share their stories with our audiences, and perhaps even, to inspire some positive change in us all.’

Hugo Macdonald, curator, says:

Radical Acts brings together an eclectic group of creative activists, joined by their commitment to craft as a force for positive impact. The Biennial is not so much an exhibition as a call to arms; every person has the power to make positive change and everybody counts. It is a radical act to take responsibility for our lifestyles and our livelihoods, and to discover that our future is in our hands.’


Press Enquiries

For further information and images of the exhibition please contact:
Brunswick Arts | Charlotte Sidwell and Lottie Howson

Visitor Information

Harewood Biennial 2022
Saturday 26 March to Monday 29 August 2022
Harewood House, Leeds LS17 9LG
Generously supported by Arts Council England
Tickets available from 1 November 2021 at harewood.org

Harewood House Trust

Harewood House Trust is an independent educational charity that constantly re-imagines what makes a historic house and its landscape relevant in the 21st century, by provoking different perspectives and conversations on its history, landscape and collections, as a place that can enrich all our lives, responsible for conserving it for the future.

Hugo Macdonald

Hugo Macdonald is a curator and writer, exploring the social impact of craft and design, architecture and technology on our lives, habits and behaviours. Hugo is a former editor at Wallpaper* and Monocle, and brand director at Studioilse, Ilse Crawford’s London design practices.

The Harewood Biennial is generously supported by Arts Council England

Arts Council England