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Shropshire
Wednesday, October 27, 2021

The Wrekin Giants appear in Ironbridge

A popular local folk story and the fictitious origins of one of Shropshire’s most distinctive hills is being brought to life in a new exhibition hosted by The Bolthole, a lifestyle destination store in Ironbridge.

Local author and illustrator, Cal Westbrook at work
Local author and illustrator, Cal Westbrook at work

Created by local author and illustrator, Cal Westbrook, the exhibition is based on a long poem written by Cal as an interpretation of one of the tales of the Wrekin Giants and will include illustration and textile pieces plus a limited-edition, hand-finished book and bespoke creative workshops.

A chance conversation between Sarah Fennell-Fox, one of the founders of The Bolthole, and Cal during the promotion of her book ‘Colin in a Coracle’, sparked the idea for a solo display of her work based on local folklore. Sarah said “I live in the shadow of the Wrekin and Ercall hills and was fascinated by their history, in particular the story of the giants, so when Cal expressed an interest in folklore, it seemed the perfect subject for an exhibition about these much-loved local landmarks.”

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“There are many iterations of the Wrekin Giants story, but this version appealed to me due to its simplicity and beauty” added Cal. “It lent itself perfectly to interpretation as a poem and inspired a collection of work which enabled me to combine my love of textiles, illustration and story-telling. I chose folklore as I wanted to create work which would appeal to adults and was inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, Mabinogion and the Book of Kells. Much of my recent work has involved children’s illustration, so it was rewarding to focus on a narrative with more depth and meaning.”

The Wrekin Giants exhibition will run from 16th October to 18th November and will include a workshop on the first day where participants will be guided by Cal to hand paint a set of Wrekin Giant Plant Protectors.

Further details about the exhibition and workshop are available from The Bolthole Store, 4 The Wharfage, Ironbridge, by calling 01952 371640 or visiting their website at www.thebolthole.store.

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