Featured Work

The Weston Tapestry for GOSH

Western House sited next door to Great Ormond Street Hospital is a temporary home for parents of long-stay children in the hospital. The Hostel’s refurbishment was made possible through the generosity of the Garfield Weston Foundation and a specially commissioned tapestry was woven by the West Dean Tapestry Studio to celebrate the life of Garry Weston (1928-2002).

The Weston Tapestry is a truly collaborative work by artists from the Slade School of Fine Art and West Dean College. The starting point was a piece of text based on observations of life around the Hospital collected by Taiseer Shelhi in nearby Queen Square and gardens. John Aiken, Pat Taylor and Taiseer Shelhi worked together on the project arranging the hand written text in the form of a flat spiral, an optimistic and inclusive motif that best reflects Garry Weston’s qualities of generosity and modesty. A quiet palette of smoky greys and cream was selected to off-set the dynamic qualities of the spiral while the weave setting acknowledges the qualities of the medium. The tapestry was installed in Weston House in April 2005.


count the cracks in the paving stones
the scent of roses, blowsy and lush
girl with the blue hair band has long blonde hair that glitters like tears
smoky soft shadows
abandoned tiny pink sunglasses
baby in the pushchair wears cherry red shoes as bright as exclamation marks
sky an upturned porcelain bowl
boy on the bench turns and tilts his face like a sunflower
and I understand

Taiseer Shelhi

Professor John Aiken – Director of the Slade School of Fine Art
Vivien Allen – Weaver
Taiseer Shelhi – Artist
Pat Taylor – Director of West Dean Tapestry Studio