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Kaffe Fassett’s first major Scottish exhibition draws crowds to Aberdeen Art Gallery

15/07/14

Kaffe Fassett's first Scottish exhibition has drawn thousands of visitors to Aberdeen Art Gallery in its opening days.

More than 1,500 visitors passed through the doors on Saturday and Sunday to see Kaffe Fassett 50 Years in Colour – more than double the number of people who visited the Gallery on the same weekend last year – and more than 600 today [Tuesday].

Selected specially for the Granite City, Kaffe Fassett 50 Years in Colour showcases pieces from a remarkable career which spans over five decades.

Talking about his visit to Aberdeen at the weekend for the launch of the exhibition and lecture, the artist said: "The exhibition is beautifully displayed on colourful walls which really make every piece of work stand out. I am sure it will encourage people to have a go at knitting, patchwork or needlepoint.

"By far the most vivid impression of my visit was the quiet, intense passion of the people who came to my book signing and asked such insightful and interesting questions at my lecture."

Kaffe, a world-renowned knitwear and textile designer, began his career as a painter in his native California, coming to Britain in the 1960s. He discovered the joys of knitting while on a trip to the woollen mills in Inverness with Aberdeenshire-born fashion designer Bill Gibb.

He went on to create unique and imaginative designs for Gibb's early collections and fashion house Missoni. His passion for colour and pattern subsequently led him to design across a wide range of media including knitting, quilting, needlework, rug-making, and mosaic, as well as painting and textile design – all of which feature in the exhibition.

The exhibition and a packed summer programme of events is being supported by Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd, as part of the firm's community investment programme, which is aimed at supporting charities and other good causes in areas where the company operates.

Steve Regulski, chairman of the Nexen Community Investment Committee said: "Nexen are delighted to be part of bringing this important exhibition to Aberdeen. We believe it is important to help Aberdeen attract such renowned artists as Kaffe Fassett, building on the city's already rich culture and helping to promote what Aberdeen has to offer."

Deirdre Grant, head of public programmes at Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums said: "It has been a major coup for Aberdeen Art Gallery to work directly with Kaffe Fassett and his studio team to create this fabulous exhibition specially for Aberdeen.

"We were delighted that he could join us at the weekend to launch his exhibition and meet visitors who know and love his work and those too who are discovering it for the first time."

Kaffe continues to teach and lecture worldwide and he will visit Aberdeen for a number of lectures and workshops. Places are still available for his lectures but his workshops are now fully booked.

The following talks and workshops will accompany the exhibition:

Thursday 28 August, Cowdray Hall, 7pm
Life in Colour: An evening with Kaffe Fassett
This lecture promises to inspire and motivate with highlights from Kaffe's latest projects, including patchwork, fabric, needlepoint, mosaic, painting and knitting designs. A book signing follows the lecture. £8 (£6)
Doors open 6.30pm.

Saturday 30 August, Gallery Shop, 11am
Kaffe Fassett, book signing event.
Admission free.

The following workshops are free drop-in sessions at Aberdeen Art Gallery and are supported by Nexen,

Tuesdays 15, 22 & 29 July & 5 August
BROOCH AND BADGE MAKING
Inspired by Kaffe's colourful textile designs come along and make your own brightly coloured brooch or badge.

Wednesdays 16, 23 &30 July & 6 August
DECORATIVE NOTE BOOKS
Decorative patterns are an important feature of Kaffe's work. Come and make your very own little notebook and decorate the cover in bold pattern and collage.

Thursdays 17, 24 & 31 July & 7 August
BUTTON COLLAGE
Kaffe loves to play with colour and pattern. Join the gallery team in recreating some of Kaffe's wonderful designs through colourful button collage

Fridays 18 & 25 July and 1 & 8 August
TEDDY BEAR OUTFITS
Kaffe's fabrics have been used by many well-known fashion designers over the years. Come along to the gallery and design and make your own stylish outfit for your favourite teddy or doll.

All activities are artist-led, free and drop-in. They are aimed at families with primary school aged children, but everyone is welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

The exhibition will close on Saturday 27 September 2014.

Opening hours
Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday – 2pm-5pm
Closed Monday
Admission free
www.aagm.co.uk