This summer, Yorkshire Sculpture Park will welcome you to the eccentric and fantastical world of The Wish Post. Textile artist Mister Finch brings his intricately hand-sewn and constructed menagerie to the Park, near Wakefield, in his largest solo exhibition to date, from 23 June to 23 September 2018.
More than 75 individual soft sculptures showcase Finch’s masterful combination of up-cycled and new materials, from discarded wire, steel and wood, to vintage tapestries, cross stitch samplers, tablecloths, antique silverware and rescued cloth. The self-taught artist has drawn inspiration from British folklore, the historic Bretton Estate and Yorkshire wildlife to create his textile wonders.
Finch’s fairytale centres around the story of The Wish Post, a magical kingdom of woodland animals whose job it is to collect and sort other creatures’ wishes, which are breathed into envelopes and posted in toadstool postboxes. For one night each year, The Wish Post creatures have the chance for their own dreams to be whisked away by the wind and come true. Badgers in blue jackets, hedgehogs playing brass bells, thimble-tailed rats, elegant swans, long-eared rabbits, and dapperly- dressed moles – all life-sized – gather together to prepare the wishes for the wind, ahead of The Wish Post festival.
Mister Finch said: "Humanising animals with shoes and clothes is something I’ve always done and I imagine them to come alive at night. Most of my pieces use recycled materials, not only as an ethical statement, but I believe they add more authenticity and charm...a story is sewn in, woven in."
All works in the exhibition – including a limited edition laser-cut clock, exclusive to Yorkshire Sculpture Park – are available to buy, along with a special range of merchandise comprising bespoke hand-embroidered tea towels and tote bags, and fabric patches.
The show is also accompanied by a brand-new publication, self-published by Finch, which documents his journey creating The Wish Post and includes behind-the-scenes photography and personal sketches.
Born in Warrington and based in Leeds, Mister Finch began his career as a jewellery designer. With no formal training in textiles, he garnered a cult following worldwide on Etsy for his constructions and his debut exhibition opened at the Anthropologie flagship store on Kings Road in London in 2014. Discover more at mister-finch.com.