Festival of Britain

Michael O’Connell created a large wall hanging (56m x 4m) for the Country Pavilion at the 1951 Festival of Britain. It is now in the possession of MERL – Reading University’s Museum of English Rural Life.

Tanya Harrod has written about this work in The Crafts in Britain in the Twentieth Century (Yale University Press 1999, ISBN 978-0300077803).
Click for extract

MERL put a lot of material about O’Connell and the hanging on their website, after it was used as the basis for a commission for a stained glass window from Susan Moxley:
Link to MERL

The website has a link to a recording made by Betty Clarke (née Sheridan), who was one of O’Connell’s assitants when he was creating the hanging:
Link to recording

It also has images of a number of other O’Connell hangings, mainly later ones, but including Frenetic Activity, a section of the early Australian frieze Pandemonium, and Scottish Dancers, which might be a part of a trial for the Festival of Britain hanging.

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