‘I want to make memories with you’
The Silk Museum, Macclesfield – Aug 13th to 8th Oct
A unique exhibition showcasing the tradition of the commemorative handkerchief
A collaboration between artists Zero Lubin and The Silk Museum, Macclesfield.
From the 1900s to the 1970s Macclesfield was one of the major towns in the UK producing handkerchiefs. The Silk Museum in Macclesfield holds an extensive collection of archive material from this period for all the local textile industry. It is therefore the perfect host for this exhibition, celebrating the tradition of the commemorative handkerchief.
‘I want to make memories with you’ will display a collection of framed vintage souvenir handkerchiefs embroidered by Zero Lubin, alongside commemorative crêpe silk handkerchiefs selected by them from the Museum archive.
Two artists, Louise Burston and Gerry King formed the Zero Lubin Company early in 2009. They are renowned for their playful and irreverent card series and books and have now turned their attention to the tradition of souvenir and commemorative handkerchiefs. With a distinctive style, typically described as kitsch and edgy, they embroider vintage handkerchiefs with poignant messages, inspired by memories of place, cultural events, significant historical characters and popular cinematic references. This juxtaposition of text and image evokes diverse interpretations for the viewer and highlights the handkerchief as an historical and cultural treasure, resonant with meaning.
All Zero Lubin artwork is for sale – for more information on the handkerchiefs, the books and the cards please visit
Blood, Sweat and Tears
If you watch the classic 1950 Otto Preminger noir thriller: Where the Sidewalk Ends, filmed on the rain-slicked streets of New York, it is evident that only the main players benefit from the use of a handkerchief; a prop as important as a skull in a Shakespearian tragedy.
The corrupt cop, played by Dana Andrews, utilises a neatly folded handkerchief to wipe blood from a cut eye, while his chief of detectives, during a heated exchange involving the issue of police brutality, pulls a billowing handkerchief from his pocket to mop the sweat from his brow.
The beguiling beauty Gene Tierney is the love interest and in a scene of high drama that nearly leads to a kissing episode she breaks into racking sobs that only abate when she gently dabs the tears from her eyes with her dainty handkerchief.
by Gerry King
Cheshire Life September 2011