Mary Crabb


First World War Baskets

SIGNIFICANT FIGURES: remembrance through making
Oxmarket Gallery, Chichester, PO19 1YH

SIGNIFICANT FIGURES: remembrance through making, is an exhibition with loss and remembrance at its core, marking the act of remembrance carried out by Elsie, for her boyfriend Cecil, killed in action in 1916.
As custodian of a photograph of Cecil, Mary has inherited Elsie’s story, which she has chosen to tell through the act of making. By taking the facts, figures and numbers of the story and WW1, Mary has made objects that bring the story to life, attempting to highlight significant numbers as well as people. The exhibition features small scale intricate work, complex in the making but simple in concept, to larger more recognisable pieces of tradition basketwork, reflecting the basketry of the period. From cane and willow, to wire, threads and twisted paper, the shared work invites the viewer to contemplate love, loss, remembrance and the passing of time.

If you like to listen to my thoughts about why making this work is important to me, they have been sensitively put together by A Human Love Story. Thank you Matt.
The recording lasts for approximately 10 minutes.
Being Loved-Being Wanted-Being Found.

I will be exhibiting the completed work at the Oxmarket Gallery, Chichester from 25.09.18-07.10.18, please see the Exhibitions page for full details.

Also, I will be taking this work out to groups as part of an illustrated talk ‘Significant Figures’, with the addition of a supporting workshop.
Please see the Talks page of the website for more information.
Alternatively if you would like some more information please get in touch.

I wil remember him sample

Basketry Then and Now

In 2016 I was delighted to join a community engagement research project on First World War Baskets, called Basketry Then and Now. The project was led by the Everyday Lives in War Engagement Centre (ELIW), University of Hertfordshire and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

My involvement in the project had two strands to it.

I have been researching FWW artillery shell baskets, made in their thousands for the transportation of shells to the Front. My focus has been primarily on an unusual shell basket held in the collection at the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading. My aim has been to record, research and finally weave a replica of the basket. This proved to be very challenging but a great opportunity to learn some new skills and work with new materials too. Alongside researching artillery shell baskets, I am continuing to progress my own creative project called Significant Figures.

The project covered many different areas of basketry during the First World War presented through films, blog posts, events and research. Although the project has now ended, please visit the Basketry Then and Now website.