Shirt Tales


Pulling stories off the page into artworks has a long tradition, from the paintings in Bede’s Codex Amiatinus – the oldest complete Latin Bible in existence, through to modern day film and TV adaptations.

Shirt Tales is a free exhibition by Artist and Tailor Richard Bliss. Richard has designed and hand made five shirts that capture the feelings and ideas that he experienced when reading the work of five authors from the Dark Ages through to the present day. Richard selected the Venerable Bede, Phillis Wheatley, Lewis Carroll, Elinor Brent-Dyer and Julia Darling as the writers who he wanted to explore further, writers who broke convention and can inspire us all.

About the Artist

Richard Bliss is a textile artist who is currently working on The Quest for the Perfect Shirt ( – a project exploring masculinity one shirt at a time. Richard has exhibited his work at The Science Museum in London, The Harris Gallery in Preston (alongside the 2017 Turner Prize Winner, Lubaina Himid CBE), and at various festivals including Curious in Newcastle and Jabberwocky Market in Darlington.

Richard is interested in how collaboration can create a different kind of art.

Much of his work is carried out in public, sewing his shirts in all sorts of locations including trains, shops and markets.

The conversations and reactions of the public to the work then become integrated into his work, sometimes radically changing the final piece from its original plan.

Richard often collaborates with other artists, most recently curating ‘Raising the Flag’; a series of events in Baltic Square led by musicians, dancers and other performers, all of whom were asked to react to and/or perform with, the exhibition ‘Our Kisses are Petals’, by Lubaina Himid, as part of the Great Exhibition of the North.




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