Farnham Pottery showcase for a power couple

Tuesday 8th February 2022 7:00 am
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Roberts elevated knitting to an art form ()

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A DUAL exhibition showcasing the work of the late acclaimed fashion designer Patricia Roberts and her car designer husband John Heffernan will open at The Farnham Pottery this week.

The show, running from February 10 to March 6 (open 9am to 4pm, seven days a week), will comprise one creative space celebrating design through art, fashion, industrial forms and flowers.

Celebrated as ‘La Reine du Tricot’, Patricia Roberts designed one-of-a-kind creative knitwear. She elevated hand-knitting to an art form, laying the groundwork for others to follow.

Patricia died in December 2020 after a battle with front temporal dementia.

But her husband John, who designed iconic cars for the likes of Aston Martin and Bentley, still lives in Farnham and will show a new series of mixed media paintings alongside his late wife’s work.

The exhibition has been curated by their daughter Amy Heffernan, who explained how her mother had maintained an extensive archive. Looking through it had given her time to grieve her mother’s loss while staging the exhibition allowed a celebration of her life that had been denied during the pandemic restrictions.

“Obviously with Covid we didn’t get to celebrate her life in the way we would have liked so this is a fantastic opportunity to be able to really celebrate her creativity and talent,” said Amy, a London-based creative director.

Featuring garments and photography, alongside unseen sketches and patterns, the exhibition gives intimate insights into Patricia’s creative life.

John’s featured pastels and paintings include floral studies that connect the two designers in what is the first joint display of their work.

“People remember Mum always having fresh flowers, even in the 1960s, and Dad has carried that through to his work.

“There is a synergy between their work as flowers featured a lot in my mother’s designs,” Amy said.

Partners in life and love, Patricia and John were devoted to modern design. So, as Farnham is a craft town with more and more contemporary crafters, it’s the perfect place for a tribute to them both.

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