Artist inspired by sea flotsam captures it in tapestries

Jo Atherton, Harrold-based artist, exhibiting at Bromham Mill.
Jo Atherton, Harrold-based artist, exhibiting at Bromham Mill.

An artist from Harrold is to see her work go on display at the historic Bromham Mill during August.

Visitors to the village venue will have the chance to view Jo Atherton’s unique flotsam tapestries from Saturday, August 2 until August 30.

Flotsam Weaving is the latest exhibition in the gallery of the 18th Century watermill, showcasing a striking collection of weaving created with material found on beaches around the world.

Balloons from France, Italian plastic shipping tags, fishing gear from The Netherlands, toys from the USA and even lobster trap tags from Canada have all found their way into Jo’s intricate tapestries.

Jo said: “I like to think of the sea as a soup of forgotten fragments. By weaving these items together, I provide a second chance for ignored artefacts to be read anew.”

Her enthusiasm for beachcombing is infectious. She said: “Discarded objects arriving on the beach each have story to tell. Where did they come from? How did they end up in the sea? For the most part we will never know, but that can’t stop us from wondering.

“Much like the stone tools, pottery and metals that archaeologists use to define human cultures of the past, a layer of plastic will one day signify our own throwaway society. We leave a trail of plastic in our wake, but what do these discarded fragments say about us?”

Jo will also be running a series of weaving workshops in the mill alongside her solo exhibition each Saturday in August from 11am to 1pm. For a cost of £15, visitors can enjoy a two-hour artist-led workshop including a demonstration of her unique technique and the chance to work with a huge range of materials to create their very own tapestry to take home.

Visit for details on how to book your place

Her future exhibitions include the Gateway Gallery in Luton Airport’s main terminal building from September 25 to November 25, The National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth next year.