Heallreaf is an Old English word meaning a tapestry hung in a public place. It is pronounced 'hair-ll-reff'.
The exhibitions were first started in 2015 by Margaret Jones and Margaret still does most of the organisation although after the 2019 exhibition a small team of helpers gathered around to help out.
The concept was born in 2014 in a boardroom of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust where Margaret attended an interview when applying for a QEST Scholarship.
She was hugely honoured to receive the scholarship and the rest is history. The idea blossomed and the first exhibition was in August 2015, a small affair at West Dean College (in West Sussex UK) in the building that had been the full time students studios. Work arrived from as far a field as Australia and New Zealand but at that time it was all small format, no bigger than 50cm x 50cm.
Heallreaf 2 in 2017 expanded slightly and the size was increased to 100cm x 100cm and a second venue was found at The Brick Lane Gallery, London as well as West Dean.
Heallreaf 3 came along and by 2019 it had expanded again and the maximum size was 200cm x 200cm but this proved difficult to get gallery space. We ended up at Surface Gallery in Nottingham and Espacio Gallery in London, West Dean no longer having a useable gallery space.
Technically Heallreaf 4 should be happening in 2021 but even before the Covid lockdowns Margaret had decided to take a year out, Heallreaf 4 will be in 2022 and currently Farfield Mill in Cumbria is booked from 19th May - 6th July, we are still looking for a second venue.
In the meantime we have HEALLREAF POST an exhibition of postcard sized tapestries to be held the the Oxmarket Gallery from the 6th July 2021 for two weeks. Click on the tab above for more details.