Radical Acts: Why Craft Matters

I finally made it to Harewood to see the Radical Acts: Why Craft Matters exhibition which runs until 29 August. The exhibition is cleverly integrated into the house’s permanent exhibits which I found really beautiful. If you get the chance to visit I can highly recommend it although tickets aren’t the cheapest. I got free entry with my National Art Pass which gives you free or cheaper entry to lots of museums and galleries across the UK.

The Harewood Biennial returns in 2022 with Radical Acts: Why Craft Matters. Following 2019’s Useful/Beautiful, curator Hugo Macdonald and the Harewood team have once again set to create a ground-breaking exhibition routed in craft and craftsmanship.

The 2022 Biennial explores why craft is a ‘radical act’, helping us to address urgent crises in life and society today, and looking to a future where we might live in a more environmentally and socially-responsible way.


There are lots of interesting pieces inside the house, my favourite being Celia Pym’s Mending Library (centre image). Celia’s work is so delicate and in her words “Mending is not just about fixing something in need of repair, it is also an act of care.” The pieces of clothing belong to staff members from Harewood and are exquisitely repaired.

Community Clothing (left image) founded by Patrick Grant is a Blackburn-based business launched with a simple goal – to sell great quality, affordable clothing and sustain and create great jobs in the UK’s textile making regions. The video talks about how the business began and showcases employees.

Metalsmith Francisca Onumah (right image) has created sculptures from sheet metal that are deliberately ambiguous. They encourage the viewer to find character and human like semblance in inanimate objects.

I don’t want to share too much about the exhibition but if you want to find out more you can visit the exhibitors website page.