Ruthin Craft Centre
The Centre for the Applied Arts


Gallery 1, 2 & 3

Helen Yardley

Drawings For Floors 1 October 2022 – 8 January 2023

Helen Yardley is a designer of experience and excellence known primarily for her rug designs. In 2023 she celebrates having been at the top of her game for 40 years. A solo exhibition across all three galleries at Ruthin Craft Centre is an apt marker for this. The exhibition will showcase her tufted, flatweave and hand knotted rugs and her lesser-seen acoustic felt pieces.

The title of the exhibition reflects Helen’s very personal process: ʻDrawings for floors are what I make, drawings with colour, in wool, that sit on the floor. I choose to say “drawings” rather than paintings although I obviously use paint. Paint is not the essential element. The paint just happens to be what holds the colour. I make images with shapes that are hard edged, elemental, abstract and resonant of other things. The shapes rest against each other, relate to each other and are firmly defined so to me they are drawn.’

Most of Helen’s work is by commission and most commissions come from architects. Commissions are her happy place, she enjoys the challenge of being taken her out of her comfort zone. It’s very much a collaborative process and she much prefers a decisive client who she’s happy to work with. Her rugs work very well in different colourways, always a sign of strong design. And Helen’s functional (even practical) way with a rug design is perhaps her greatest asset. It has seen her weather many trends and fashions in rugs. And it has allowed her to come out the other end of 40 years in business not only smiling but looking towards the next challenge, too.

Curated by Gregory Parsons