From 14th June – 26th July, Ely Cathedral will be playing host to ‘Threads through Creation’, a
breath-taking exhibition of twelve enormous, embroidered silk panels that explore the story of
Inspired by the first pages of the bible, textile artist Jacqui Parkinson re-imagines an amazing story
in brilliant silks, dazzling metallic leathers and gold leaf – and more than eight million stitches!
The panels are huge – as much as 4m/13ft wide: Jacqui Parkinson’s work is eye-catching,
designed to be attractive for viewers of all ages. Whilst the serious message of God’s good
earth and man’s impact on it underlies the entire exhibition, the embroidery itself is bold and
Jacqui uses unusual techniques: “I start with antique bedsheets, which hold their own tales
of life and death. I gradually build up my stories by quilting the sheets and painting them.
Then I add layers of silk, which I stitch into place using a special free motion sewing machine
which allows me to stitch my ‘drawings’. Then I add gold leaf and metallic leathers as
finishing touches, overall creating great richness – a feast for the eye!
Jacqui adds: ‘My aim is to capture the wonderful extravagance of the Creation story and to
delight people who view it. Despite Adam and Eve’s fall from grace, it remains a story of love
and promise, something we can all do with these days.’
The Very Reverend Mark Bonney, Dean of Ely Cathedral, said, ‘The book of Genesis invites us
into the wonder of God’s work in creation and helps us better understand our place within
it. It’s an ancient story, but highly relevant today, with a message of hope – of God with us –
and its call for us to care for our amazing world. We warmly invite you to come to Ely
Cathedral and see Jacqui Parkinson’s extraordinary re-telling of the creation story. With
astonishing designs and colours, Jacqui’s work provides interest, enjoyment and spiritual
insights. I think that everyone who sees this exhibition will find it both beautiful and