Whitby Museum to showcase artist Hayley’s textile autobiography

Henry Freeman rayon thread.
Henry Freeman rayon thread.

Hayley Mills-Styles is a Yorkshire-based artist working with embroidery. Her work has been exhibited in museums and heritage sites throughout the north.

Using fabric and thread, she creates textile drawings and objects with an autobiographical theme.

Archive & Other Stories brings together a collection of works inspired by the objects housed in Whitby Museum.

The museum is a treasure chest of curious objects where you can learn about everything from geology to historical costume.

Founded in 1823 by the Whitby Literary & Philosophical Society, the museum is run by a dedicated team of trustees, staff and volunteers.

Hayley said: “Both Whitby and the museum have played a significant part in my life story, as a child I visited the museum with my grandparents.

“I would spend hours looking at the cabinets of treasures, creating stories and learning about Whitby’s rich history.”

The common theme that runs throughout Hayley’s practice is memory; she creates stories about her own experiences that resonate deeply with the viewer.

Textiles and embroidery offer Hayley a unique opportunity to present these stories in a way that draws in the audience, evoking memories of their own stories and textile memories.

Hayley describes her practice: “My practice uses fabric and thread to tell stories, my aim in working with Whitby Museum was to interpret their collections in a different way.

“Each piece from the exhibition tells a story about my life, using pieces from the museum’s archive as a reference point.”

Archive & Other Stories opens on Saturday September 15 with a special event at 1pm where visitors can meet the artist and view the collection.

The exhibition is on from September until November 18.

Museum opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.

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