‘For the love of Laura Ashley’ exhibition heads for Machynlleth

MOMA Machynlleth is to host a ‘For the Love of Laura Ashley’ exhibition from June 24 to September 6 to preserve the legacy of the famous Mid Wales-based fashion designer whose name became a global brand.

The exhibition has been organised by the Heritage Hub 4 Mid Wales (HH4MW), a group of volunteers which aims to enhance local civic pride in significant entrepreneurial pioneers from the region, including Laura Ashley.

‘For the Love of Laura Ashley’ will include a Pixel Portrait Quilt of Laura Ashley commissioned by Ann Evans, founder of HH4MW, who worked for Laura Ashley in the 1970s. This quilt was made by self-taught British quilter Devida Bushrod, who now lives in Tulsa, USA, from 1,500 pieces of fabric in 13 colours.

Ann has also acquired several vintage Laura Ashley dresses for the exhibition, including a wedding dress with the name tag of the seamstress, Sharon Holt, which was for sale in Witney Oxfam Shop. The wedding dress will be reunited with the seamstress in Machynlleth, where it was made.

HH4MW has organised various events including the ‘Laura Ashley Heritage Quilt’ Exhibition in March. The group is seeking to digitally record the social history, archives and memories of Laura Ashley and upload photographs and written and oral stories to the digital heritage website – https://www.peoplescollection.wales/ – at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

The MOMA Machynlleth exhibition – https://moma.cymru/en/e/for-the-love-of-laura-ashley/ – will run at until September 6, which would have been the eve of Laura Ashley’s 98th birthday. She tragically died on September 17, 1985, just 10 days after her 60th birthday.

Laura Ashley moved to Mid Wales in the 1960s and a letter to Ann from her son, Nick, states: “My mother used to freely admit that she owed all of her success to the people of Mid Wales. All of my siblings have been raised here and our children. It is a wonderful place where anything is possible.

“I am representing my mother when I say that we shall be eternally grateful to all the members of the dream team that grouped together and made this happen.”

HH4MW has driven and delivered celebration events and exhibitions to demonstrate the significant legacies of Mid Wales pioneers Robert Owen, the famous social reformer from Newtown, Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones, mail order pioneer from Newtown, David Davies of Llandinam, one of the founders of the Industrial Revolution and Laura Ashley.

MOMA Machynlleth is a member of MWT Cymru, an independent organisation that represents around 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.

Picture caption:

A poster for the exhibition celebrating the Laura Ashley’s legacy.