Hartlepool costume students create work for new exhibition at Bowes Museum on Italian master painter

A series of garments made by talented Hartlepool students are featuring in a prestigious new exhibition at one of the region’s top museums.

Sunday, 24th November 2019, 8:00 am
Some of the dresses made by Hartlepool Northern College of Art costume design students for the new Guido Reni exhibition at The Bowes Museum.

The collection of stunning garments created by costume design degree students at The Northern School of Art form part of the first UK exhibition outside London dedicated to 17th Century Italian master painter Guido Reni at The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle.

It features works from prestigious public and private collections, including The National Gallery and The Royal Collection.

Second year degree students studying BA (Hons) Costume Interpretation with Design at the School’s Hartlepool campus took inspiration from many of Reni’s paintings and reimagined how his subjects would look in today’s Instagram world, to create a diverse selection of costumes and hats.

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The Northern School of Art costume design degree students (left to right) Ilona Haldemann, Heather Wilson, Hannah Larmour, Alice Clark, Molly Frankland, Emily Cairns, Ursula Toon and Shannon Swift.

Programme leader Jane Havakin said: “We’re very privileged to be working with The Bowes Museum on this exhibition. It’s been an invaluable experience for students.”

Students put into practice many of the techniques that they have learnt on the course to design and make a series of elaborate garments and hats.

Costume design student Alice Clark, who created a 17th Century ladies dress for the display, said: “I found Reni’s work very inspiring. Although the women he painted are scantily dressed, leaving little to the imagination, it’s the time period in which they were depicted that most influenced my costume design.

“The colour palette of ivory and blue was chosen as these shades appear in several of the portraits on display here including ‘The death of Lucretia’ and ‘St Mary Magdalene at prayer’.”

The students garments were inspired by Guido Reni's original paintings and how they would look for today's Instagram generation.

Heather Wilson’s garment is a reflection upon Guido Reni’s painting Cleopatra and the Asp painting.

She explained: “The femininity of Cleopatra is represented by the use of the ruffled tulle, with the pink being matched to her depiction within the image.”

The Bowes Museum Project Curator, Bernadette Petti, said: “I am delighted that the talented students of The Northern School of Art have been inspired by Guido Reni’s masterpieces and I am excited that an exhibition on a leading 17th century master can offer an opportunity for students to have their work on display at The Bowes Museum.”

The exhibition runs until January 20 next year.