William Morris believed that simple, beautiful ‘arts and crafts’ would elevate workers from the grey lives he believed they led in the shadow of industrialisation. Red House was his first attempt to prove it. Now part of the National Trust, Red House was a place where dreams, hope and ambitions began, were forged, and entangled the lives of a set of strong characters such as artists Rossetti, Burne-Jones and Philip Webb.
This video installation delivers a poetic evocation of the people who visited and lived in Red House, a place where an artistic movement struggled to emerge. The place where a commercial enterprise came into being, where a Brotherhood of artists ventured to create an ideal home, and where a Sisterhood of vibrant women worked together to make their vision real.
But, it was also built to house William Morris and his bride; it was the place where his daughters were born. The place where he and his family could unstitch the past (literally) and re-learn old methods of embroidery which could be revived and contribute to enlivening the present. It was a place full of laughter and sorrow, a place full of guests, artists, lovers and dreams.