Get Cosy

21 Apr – 12 May 2023

Get Cosy brings together tea cosies designed and made by members of the Thursday Afternoon Seniors’ Art Class from Garnethill Multicultural Centre, alongside a collection of historic tea cosies from The Glasgow School of Art’s Archives and Collections.  

The group visited GSA in October 2022, to explore the collection and draw inspiration for their next art project. Prior to their visit, they requested to see the School’s tea cosy collection, which contains a range of motifs alongside examples of needlework and embroidery techniques.

These utilitarian objects became popular in Victorian times, when social interaction around sharing pots of tea became fashionable. While functionally designed to keep tea warm, the tea cosy also became a highly embroidered fashion statement, and a canvas on which to show needlework skills. 

While recognising the collections’ practical purpose, the group also viewed the tea cosies as indicative of how archive and museum objects can hold memories and tell stories of the people who made them. They left the archive with a feeling of kinship with the makers who had created beautiful designs on very functional, domestic items.

Using the tea cosy as a template to express their creativity and convey their ideas, the group created their own designs and let their imaginations be limited only by the size and shape of the tea cosy. They employed a wide range of media from pens, to watercolour, to collage, in order to create the tea cosies in the exhibition.

By selecting a medium designed to keep liquids hot, the group also sought to consciously reference, comment and reflect on the significance of the ongoing energy crisis. 

Get Cosy previews Thursday 20th April from 4pm-6pm, and will be open to the public Monday-Friday from 21st April – 12th May, 10am – 4pm at Window on Heritage in the Reid building.

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