A piece of wearable art designed by a local artist and inspired by Archibald Knox is to be auctioned at Manx Cancer Help’s Annual Ball next month.
The dress is being designed and made by fast-rising star Sarah Hendy for charity Patron and singer-songwriter, Katie Melua, with whom she did a fitting in London last week. The idea came about at the suggestion of one of Manx Cancer Help’s supporters who put Sarah in touch with the charity.
Sarah, from Ramsey, specialises in wearable art and another of her pieces, Aditi, will be among a collection of only 100 pieces selected to shown at New Zealand’s ‘WOW’ (World of WearableArt’) Show in Wellington at the end of September. Her Mirabilis exhibition featured at the Sayle Gallery in Douglas and her work was included in the New Designers graduate show in London.
Sarah said: ‘I was honoured to be asked to work on this very special piece for Manx Cancer Help, and felt especially inspired by the theme of this year’s ball – the work of Archibald Knox. I have designed the piece with references to Knox’s Deer’s Cry, considered his greatest masterpiece and most personal work of art, and the jewel-like enamels of his pewter and silverware designs.’
Archibald Knox, a Manx-born artist, was born in Cronkbourne. Manx Cancer Help is headquarted in The Old School House, which was the communal centre of the village during Knox’s life. The design genius is credited with inspiring the Celtic Revival and is famed worldwide for his silver and pewter designs for Liberty & Co. His greatest masterpiece, and most personal work of art, is considered to be the illuminated manuscript of the Deer’s Cry (or St Patrick’s Breastplate), a lorica or prayer of protection traditionally ascribed to St Patrick.
Sarah continues: ‘With the theme of Deer’s Cry featuring lines of prayer calling upon God and the elements for protection, the dress is designed to form a shield like structure in front of the wearer’s face, which is reflected in the flowing knot work of the skirt. I have selected naturally-moulted peacock plumage and sword tail feathers, which so beautifully capture the glorious blues, greens and turquoises of the enamels in Knox’s Liberty designs. The clean, A-line silhouette is reminiscent of pieces from Knox’s Art Deco Tudric range.’
The dress will form part of Manx Cancer Help’s auction on the night, which will also feature a range of other spectacular items. This year’s ball is being held at the Ballannette Estate in Baldrine and will be hosted by joint patrons James Toseland and his wife, Katie.
Katie said: ‘The dress is a real show-stopper and beautifully reflects the continued influence of the great Archibald Knox, designed and made here in Knox’s homeland. We hope it will raise a great deal of money for our charity, which relies on donations to be able to keep offering those affected by a cancer diagnosis the support they need.’