ATV Assignment 4 Review point- Demonstration of creativity

Review point- demonstration of creativity

I am happy with how I have demonstrated my creativity so far within the course. The course assignments have pushed my creativity, making me think outside the box to come up with new and inventive ideas- these are new to me, not new innovations. I have tried lots of new techniques that I have never used before such as spinning, weaving, French knitting, photo editing software, drawing archive clothing in a museum. I also have used a range of materials that I have not used before such as Tyvek paper, plastic bottle yarn, dental floss, plaster bandage. I am enjoying the creativity of my sketchbook- making notes, drawing out ideas, storing samples- I know these will become a valuable resource for looking back on.

I do need to be more questioning of my work and outcomes- why I did what I did and why I liked or disliked it. I know this sort of self-analysis will develop more the further I go on the course. At the moment I still find it a little difficult to put my thoughts onto paper and explain why I did or liked something. Also the very real fear of ‘Is this right?’ continues to haunt me. Maybe not so much now whether the techniques or samples I have produced are right but whether I have fulfilled the brief, which can be quite difficult to understand sometimes as in what is being asked of you. Developing my personal voice is something that can only come with time and experience but I will find my way there.

I need to find a more creative approach to some of the research. Some of the research points I have found quite tedious and time consuming, like the research for part four links 15-21. This was all online research, some of the links didn’t work and it was a lot of wading through stuff to find relevant information. Any suggestions or tips from my tutor would be most appreciated!

I do read a lot of textile books and pin a lot of information on Pinterest- I have 31 boards dedicated to OCA Textiles covering a range of topics, tutorials, artists and inspirations. This has widened my knowledge on a large range of subjects and techniques which can be applied to my work.

I do have to be quite creative in sourcing my materials as I live on a small Island which has 2 fabric shops! I have sourced stuff from charity shops, friends and family (collections of different coloured plastic bottles), the recycling bin, swaps and online. I am a member of the Facebook OCA textiles page and the Instagram page both of which are good resources for all manner of things, especially fibre shops and articles. I also follow a lot of universities and textile students and groups on Instagram, again great for inspiration and sourcing of new shops/products to try.

Formative feedback ATV Assignment three

Formative feedback
Summary of tutorial discussion
Strong crafting skills evident throughout.
Ex.3.2 highlights a sensitive translation of colour into yarn and thread. The mix of textures and surface qualities reflects the materiality of the painting nicely. The four smaller wraps translate the colour particularly well, with the crossing threads optically mixing the colours and creating lively constructed patterns.
The crafting and composition of the collages (ex.3.4) demonstrates an attention to detail. The hand-coloured papers have created unique compositions, with the varied textures creating lively aesthetics. A couple of the compositions could have been more different but the papers ensure they have a different aesthetic quality. Different background colours could have drastically changed the composition and could have been explored
more. Test and evaluate alternative compositions more regularly – either through drawing quick compositions, or in writing.
A systematic, methodical approach is evident in this submission. Your perfectionism meant that the work took more time than allocated, so consider exploring faster methods offset with more careful approaches could help speed the work up.
Learning log:
– Continue to refer to feedback from assignment 2 about the nature of the learning log.
– When evaluating your work, give more detail to explain the statements. E.g. “I feel I have chosen the right design for each collage and feel that they explore the exercise given for each one.” What does ‘right’ mean? Can you describe the qualities of the composition more descriptively to communicate why the piece feels ‘right’?
This will also help you unpick why something feels ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, and develop your use of subject specific terminology (like composition or terms relating to colour theory).
Research Points
– Good structure to the analysis which helped you respond to the questions posed with a sense of objectivity.
– But do you like it? The analysis lacks a more personal response to the work. Whilst the research points require you to demonstrate your academic writing and research skills, there also needs to be some personal commentary to communicate what you think about the work and how the research could influence your practical work.
– Use the ‘Reflection’ summary to discuss what you’ve learnt and how the research will influence your approach to the practical exercises. You could also compare and contrast the designers you’ve looked at, if appropriate.
Gouache: Good quality gouache paint should create a more consistent, ‘flat’ colour. Purchase better quality gouache for more exacting colour mixing in future. (We also discussed that acrylic isn’t ideal as its shiny, plasticky surface reflects more light and alters the read of the colour.)

Sketchbook is used well to explore ideas and make
Evaluation: Be more specific in explaining your
Good use of drawing to test ideas in the sketchbook

Sensitive colour translation.
Strong crafting skills; attention to detail.

Areas for development

Use drawing more extensively to explore ideas
and make visual notes.

Research: Include more of ‘you’ in your analysis.
Balance the subjective and objective analysis.

Drawing compositions to test various options (not just
to visualize one idea). This might have helped you
explore options

Challenge your perfectionism sometimes by trying
quicker or rougher approaches, especially earlier in the
project when the emphasis is on exploration. You can
then refine these in a more time-consuming sample.
Suggested reading/viewing
This is a good blog post about a strong ATV assignment 4 submission:
Pointers for the next assignment
• Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
• Evaluate the next assignment against assessment criteria (or start with this assignment) to develop your awareness of what the work is being assessed against.
• Apply the same sensitive use of colour in the yarns. Evaluate how to optically mix different coloured threads / fibres to create different hues.
• Explore some quicker approaches along your naturally more careful and time-consuming methods. Perhaps challenge yourself to, for example, produce 5 quick yarns in 30 minutes and see if interesting
ideas emerge.
Tutor name Cari Morton
Date 8th June 2018

Reflection of feedback

I am pleased with the feedback given and I find the skype tutorials very valuable in better understanding the feedback given and expressing reasons why I did, or did not do something.

I am pleased I experimented with making 4 smaller yarn wraps, using different wrapping techniques, weaving and stitching as I feel they translated the colours and textures from the painting better than the straight forward wraps.

I agree that I could have done some different compositions with the collage as they were all the same, I really don’t know why I didn’t as it seems so obvious now but at the time I felt I had to keep them close to the original image. I should have experimented a bit more with the layout like I did with the papers I used, for a better range.

The work always takes me so much longer than the 10 hours a week. Maybe some of it is down to my perfectionism but I do feel that 10 hours a week is not enough to produce a good enough standard of work. If I stuck to the 10 hours I know I would not get half the amount done. Maybe I am just a slow worker!

I agree I need to give more reasons why in my work. I find this quite hard as I can be quite intuitive and sometimes just go with something as it feels right or is pleasing to me and there is no other reason. I do struggle with worrying if my work is right- in terms of what the brief is asking for- as in some places I don’t feel the brief is written that well and it can be difficult to work out what you are expected to be doing. I have been happy with what I have produced but my worry is it does not meet the brief in some areas.

I do need to include more ‘me’ in my research. Some of the research is very fact based but I will try a more personal response.


ATV. Part 3 colour studies. Written reflection

Reflection for part three

The colour section of ATV was the part I was dreading most. I don’t know very much about colour theory, the rules of colour, and not much of a grasp on complementary, split complementary or triad. If I like a colour I like it, if I like it with another colour great! I always feel colour for me is more intuitive than based on any rules. I did purchase a colour wheel and a copy of David Hornung’s book, Colour-A workshop for artists and designers [1] prior to starting this course but I have only skimmed through a few chapters.

I learnt a lot from colour matching the printed and neutral fabrics. It takes a lot of experimenting to create a perfect match. Colours I thought would mix to create the colour I needed were often not the case but I enjoyed the playing around with colour and found it quite therapeutic to make up charts of colour with written notes on what colours I had used. As I mentioned above, this has led me to keeping a small colour mix book of my own to experiment with colour mixes and chart new colours.

Translation through yarn was my favourite part of this module and I know that I will use it again for future projects. I enjoyed matching the yarns and working in proportions and the end results of the wraps are so tactile and nice to look at as well as being an invaluable resource.

Working with watercolour to translate the colours in glass objects was challenging. It took a lot of focus to be able to see colours that my brain was telling me were not there because the object was clear! I was pleased with the results of this exercise and the opacities of colour I had managed to make.

The research on colour digital resources was very enlightening to me and because of that research I have used Adobe Color CC throughout this module to help with extracting colour from objects and to see the difference between what the programme sees and what I see. I also have an app on my phone now so I can take photos while I’m out and create colour palettes for that image.

I found it a little repetitive doing 6 collages of the same image and I think that may have taken away some of the creativity of the collage for me. Even though each one was a different exercise in colour I think I would have been more creative in my approach if I could have worked from a couple of different images.

I enjoyed making my colour studies book. I have made books and journals before but had never done copic binding so that was new to me. I liked the challenge of keeping a fresh, clean look within the book and worked hard to achieve this overall look throughout. I was happy with a lot of the work I had done in this module which made selecting work a little harder. The book brought together the lessons really well into one place and makes a nice showcase of the work chosen to be in it.

[1] Published by Laurence King publishing 2012 ISBN: 978-1-85669-877-1


Tutor Feedback and my reflection for ATV Assignment 2

Formative feedback

Course/Unit A Textiles Vocabulary Assignment number 2

Type of tutorial Video

Assignment 2 and 4 Assessment potential

I understand your aim is to go for the Textiles Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you continue to commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to pass at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.

 Summary of tutorial discussion

Sensitive paper manipulation with varied and playful exploration of media. You said you struggled with how to translate the drawings into manipulated paper but that effort to source new papers and employ different approaches is clear in the work. You have thoughtfully developed the marks and qualities of the drawings into creases, folds and patterns. Keep this new learning in mind even when you approach exercises which feel easier – keep searching for ways to do things differently.

The stitch enhances and extends the paper textures well. Occasionally the interaction between stitch and texture could have been more sympathetic – e.g. black thread overpowered the white-on-white texture below – but generally the stitch was sensitively applied.

Sketchbook vs. learning log

– The sketchbook is the place to document the process in depth. From looking through the sketchbook and samples we should be able to see the development of your ideas, what media and materials you’re testing, what you think about them and how you could develop them as well as how you actually develop them. You can include small swatches of materials and samples too. (Any chunkier samples can be kept separately.)

– Integrate your artist research into the sketchbook: Include small images of work which is inspiring and directly informing your own, followed by notes and drawings about how you could develop from it.

– Use the sketchbook as a place to have a conversation with yourself – to explore a range of options, test ideas, think through problems etc. It being a bit messy is fine – it should be an organic document. Use brief notes to evaluate the strengths/weaknesses in the work.

– You feel you’re spending much more than 20% on the learning log, in part because you have both a physical book and blog, but also because you are writing what you have done step by step. In the learning log entries, review and evaluate your work at the end of an exercise or a project (see notes below). You can write up your evaluation of the artist/ designer work in the log more fully. The log is where your academic writing skills are assessed, so whilst we want the discussion to feel personal, it will be more formal in tone than the sketchbook.

Improving evaluation

– Spending less time writing up what you did in your learning log will naturally focus your energy on summarising and evaluating.

– Your evaluation of the samples created in the assignment is good – you are specific about what you like and why.

– When evaluating, consider different perspectives: your own intuitive response; what the brief asked you to do and the different aspects within that (in the case of assignment 2: scale, placement, repetition); what others may think. If you really like a sample force yourself to analyse what could be improved; if you don’t like it, make yourself consider the strengths or areas which have potential. This will help you be more specific about exactly what you like and dislike, and build your ability to communicate your own work.


Thoughtful translation of drawn marks and details into paper and stitch qualities.

Sensitive selection and manipulation of materials.

Great that you include yarn wraps / material samples with the details of where they were from – this technical information is good to refer to in future

Areas for development

Evaluation – build on huge improvement made in Part 2 by differentiating the development and evaluation done in the sketchbooks and that done in the log.

Review use of learning log as above. (Don’t have both paper-based and blog.)

Your drawing is really strong so keep drawing in the sketchbook to think through your ideas. Draw from your samples to propose alterations or new versions.

Suggested reading/viewing


Now is a good point to consider presentation for assessment, so you can keep on top of this as you go. E.g. the paper manipulation samples could be simply collated into a series of folded paper wallets with an image of the original drawing to start each section. Look at:;;

Great that you’ve been engaging with the Facebook group and other students’ blogs. The key to not feeling worried about work other students are producing is to see more of it so you can be inspired by the range of different approaches, rather than how different theirs is to yours. Well done for getting your Instagram account started. Read:;

Pointers for the next assignment

• Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.

Tutor name Cari Morton

Date 29th March 2018


Reflection on feedback

This was my first video feedback session and I feel I gained more from this than just a written feedback as I was able to explain my thinking on certain samples and more fully understand the context of the feedback given by Cari.

I did struggle somewhat with translating the drawings into manipulated papers, but still keeping the link to the original piece. I understand that each project moves you forward from the last but I feel it should still be cohesive, you should still be able to see a link from the original piece you are working on, no matter how thin that link becomes as you move forwards. I could have made many different paper samples but they would not have been based on my drawings, so I had to work hard to push the boundaries and find new papers and methods to develop my pieces. Overall I was pleased with the outcome.

We discussed the black thread on the white textured sample and I could see once it had been pointed out that using white thread would have been more sensitive to the original drawing, a thought that had not occurred to me at the time of making the sample. This I will take forward as more experimentation needed on sampling.

We had a good discussion about the sketchbook and learning log. I was keeping a sketchbook, a separate book for the learning log with all my notes and annotations in and all my ‘messy’ thoughts, and also writing up more extensively the learning log book onto my learning blog. I feel I have a better understanding now of the different methods of recording my progress.

I still need to build on my evaluation skills and I have printed off some of the suggested articles to read through. I will also go back and arrange my samples into paper folders to make it easier at assessment.

Research point one p.71 of ATV

Susan Lenz Research point 1- Analyse how they select, apply and alter their chosen materials

“Generally my work is conceptually driven and meant to articulate the accumulated memory inherent in discarded things. I seek a partnership with my materials, their purposes, values, and familiar associations. Memory, universal mortality, and personal legacy are central themes.”

-Susan Lenz from an interview on

“Vintage and recycled materials are combined with meticulous handwork and self-guided, free motion machine embroidery. I am drawn to textiles for their tactile qualities and often make work that is meant to be touched.”

-Susan Lenz from  

I chose Susan Lenz for this research point as her work spoke to me on a deep level, her graveyard rubbings have a poignancy that I really connected with. Preserving memories is important to me so maybe that is why I connected so strongly. So although Susan’s work is not about mending or repairing, she does use found and discarded textiles but in a way that tries to recapture and immortalise precious memories. Her work asks us to look at our family heritage and preserve it for future generations to look back on.

Her Grave rubbing quilt series can be found here

For this series, Susan uses a crayon to take rubbings from gravestones. She does the rubbings directly onto fabric and sometimes on actual vintage clothes and textiles.She visits graveyards wherever she goes and takes rubbings. She looks for interesting motifs, quotes, symbols and words but rarely takes rubbings of people’s names, preferring for the final pieces to remain anonymous, maybe adding to the poignancy as you will never know whose graves these rubbings came from, or who they were, their memories lost.  She gathers vintage items such as child’s nightdresses, ladies gloves, tablecloths, hankies, doilies and she adds these to the bases of her quilts. She cuts out the rubbings and applies them to her quilts and art pieces with applique and she likens this to ‘graffiti’ that surrounds the vintage items. She adds hand stitching, free motion machine stitching, vintage buttons and trims to complete the pieces.


Image from

Susan visits antique stores to find her materials for her work. Sometimes people give her items if they know what she does so that although they don’t know what to do with family items/heirlooms, they will be used and remembered in Susan’s work. She also does a few commissions for people using their family’s vintage textiles and memories.     – my Pinterest board        – Making plans for your precious possessions | Susan Lenz |


Written reflection for part one

Written reflection for part one

I used mind mapping and a mood board to help me get started on the introductory project, both of which I found very useful for getting the ideas flowing. I enjoyed putting my story together, collecting relevant items and then composing them. I did a lot of drawings, probably way more than I needed to but I was unsure whether I was capturing the essence of the theme with my mark making and actually what was mark making- was it different to drawing?? I had never heard this term before so it’s taken a while to get my head around that and what it means. My doubt mainly came from joining the textiles Facebook page and seeing other people’s work on there and on various blogs. Although very useful to see how other people have tackled the projects and the support from the groups looks encouraging, I got very hung up on whether I was doing it right or wrong, whether I was understanding and fulfilling the brief and whether my work was good enough. I have found it very hard not to have any reassurance from a tutor along the way but understand that this is part of the course, learning to work on your own and making and justifying your own decisions. As the projects progressed I feel that I have loosened up slightly in my approach. Drawing with my eyes shut or while not looking at the paper has been really helpful and I have found that I normally like these images more than ones I have spent longer on. I have enjoyed looking at other artists and designers but am finding it difficult sometimes to articulate my feelings about their work, something I am sure I will get better at as the course goes on. I have learnt a lot from drawing the archive textiles, looking into the story behind them has fascinated me. Learning to look at the little details that help to tell the story and trying to capture that in my drawings.

I now nervously await my first tutor feedback!

What is drawing?

Another one of those ambiguous questions!

The Shorter Oxford Dictionary defines drawing as:

‘the formation of a line by drawing some tracing instrument from point to point of a surface; representation by lines; delineation as distinguished from painting…the arrangement of lines which determine form.’

‘The term drawing is applied to works that vary greatly in technique. It has been understood in different ways at different times and is difficult to define. During the Renaissance the term ‘disegno’ implied drawing both as a technique to be distinguished from colouring and also as the creative idea made visible in the preliminary sketch.’ [1]

‘Drawing is the probity of art. To draw does not mean simply to reproduce contours; drawing does not consist merely of line: drawing is also expression, the inner form, the plane, the modeling. See what remains after that.’-Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780 – 1867) [1]

From all I learnt at school in GCSE and A level art, 20 odd years ago, my first response to this question would be that a drawing is an image created using pencil or pen to translate an item or an idea onto paper. When you add colour or paint it becomes a painting- the drawing may still be there underneath, but you have expanded on it. It is fully acceptable to push the boundaries in drawing, more so than when I was at school, but I do think you need a drawing implement to create a drawing.

I don’t see photographs as drawings- a photo is an image captured by a device/piece of equipment. There is art in taking a good photo certainly, but you have not ‘drawn’ it you have captured it. You can edit digital images of that photograph which could be seen as drawing, depending on what you do to it.

I stated previously while looking at the eight artists in part one that I didn’t see Alison Carlier’s spoken drawings as drawings. She is creating a visual image in someone else’s mind but it’s not tangible and no two will be the same. It’s also transient, you will never remember all the details as you did the first time, so each time will be different and after a while the image will fade away and even if you listen again, you won’t create the same image again.. A drawing on paper or canvas you can look at again and again and it will be the same each time.  That’s not to say that her spoken drawings are not art- I personally just feel they are not drawings.

These are obviously just my humble opinions. The boundaries of drawing and art are stretched further every day, with new ideas and technologies bringing new ways to create I feel it’s down to your own personal view as to what you see as a drawing, or indeed what you consider art. Art is an extremely personal experience and maybe should not have labels. Is it a drawing or a painting, is it real or imagined, is it art or not, is it good or bad- who’s to say??


Research point one, Project 2, Wabi-Sabi

Notes: (written up in my paper learning log but also added here in note form for my tutor)

Different definitions found on Google:

  • The discovery of beauty in imperfection
  • The acceptance of the cycle of life and death
  • A way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay
  • “A japanese way of being and seeing, honouring the beauty of all organic processes of birth, growth, decay, death and new life”– Deborah Barndt [1]
  • Wabi means-freedom from attachment, subtle, profundity. Sabi means- Austere, sublimity, asymmetry
  • “…an appreciation of the transient beauty of the physical world. It embodies the melancholic appeal of the impermanence of all things- especially the modest, the rustic, the imperfect and even the decayed…”– Andrew Juniper [2]

So…Wabi-Sabi is about finding the beauty in imperfection, not seeing it as damaged or old or broken and peeling. Appreciating the stories of these items, the growth of the journey, the transient nature of something, the natural cycle of its life. Nothing lasts forever, appreciate its beauty, in all its stages before its gone. The marks, scars, scrapes, chips, all contribute to the journey of the piece.

How Wabi-Sabi relates to Archive textiles-

Old or archive textiles have been on a journey. Every ripped seam, tear, stain, frayed edge and piece of moth damage contributes to its story. They have a history, a journey they have travelled on and those imperfections help tell the story. Without those imperfections we may not have the whole picture. We need to appreciate the beauty of these marks and imperfections for it is what makes it the piece it is today. You could look at it like a person’s story. Every experience, every piece of knowledge gained, travel taken creates a person’s life, their view of life, makes them who they are. They have been bumped along the way, fallen, stumbled, been let down, have wounds and scars- this makes them who they are. Without those experiences they would be a totally different person. You need to see the whole, the inside and the outside to appreciate the beauty. The damage contributes, rather than takes away from the story. Wabi-Sabi is a very difficult concept to explain!


[2]From the back cover of Andrew Juniper’s book: Wabi-Sabi: The Japanese art of impermanence

The best explanation of Wabi-Sabi I found was here


Research point 2 –project three, picking and portraying

Research point 2 notes- 3 examples of artists that employ floral and leaf motifs in their work. (More notes and images are in my paper learning log for my own reference, along with images for research point 3 on david hockney which I have not included on this blog)

I chose these three artists as their work spoke to me the most. I did a project on William Morris when I was studying fashion design at college as his work has always interested me. I love the medieval feel to his works and the use of pattern and repetition.

I must admit to not knowing the other 2 artists but their work appealed to me- the one with quite detailed flower paintings and the other with much more vivid and bolder flower paintings and a little more of an abstract feel.

Elizabeth Blackadder

  • She doesn’t like to plan her paintings too much but prefers to “let them grow on their own1
  • She studied Byzantine art and architecture and likes Japanese watercolour art
  • She began to become very interested in plants and flowers when she was sent to live with her grandmother at the beginning of the war when her father died. She used to be sent out as a gardener to all her grandmothers friends and her interest grew from there.
  • She doesn’t like to talk about her work much, she says in the YouTube video I watched that “I don’t like to talk about my art. It’s the paintings. That’s it.1
  • Some of her paintings don’t seem to be that detailed but others are very detailed, almost botanical reference like.
  • She likes to compose her works by arranging miscellaneous objects and painting them from above.2
  • Sometimes it is just the objects she paints- no table or background, and the items look like they are floating.
  • “The spaces between flowers and objects are very important to the composition, in fact almost as important as the objects themselves” Elizabeth Blackadder Masterclass
  • She often leaves the background white in her flower paintings.





William Morris

  • English textile designer 1834-1896
  • Part of the arts and crafts movement which was a revival of traditional handicrafts, improving the design of domestic objects and returning to a simpler way of life. (Even though his wallpapers were expensive!) 1
  • His sources were the plants themselves, although very much stylised and he was inspired by medieval tapestries and early printed herbals.
  • He uses repeating patterns and motifs in his designs
  • Due to the medieval influence his works could be mistaken for older than they are, and they also give a sense of opulence I feel- very suited to the upper class and manor houses.
  • “His success in creating structured patterns from natural forms, with a sense of organic growth controlled by a subtle geometry, was his most important design legacy.”2
  • He was influenced by John Ruskin who was also an artist and a nature observer and who also collected herbals. He was a member of the pre-Raphaelite circle and interestingly Morris’s wife Jane was a model for Dante Gabriel Rossetti painting ‘Proserpine’ 3






Jane Askey

  • “Painting is an attempt to make concrete the transience and fragility of flowers.” 1
  • ‘Jane is a painter, freelance giftware designer and university lecturer. She studied a degree in Textile Design at Manchester Polytechnic 1984-87 specialising in Printed Textile Design. Her textile background has influenced her current practise as a painter and designer. ‘ 1
  • Floral imagery, still life, vintage fabrics and decorative ceramics- ‘Elements pertinent to textiles are central to her approach to painting: pattern, rhythms and echoes of colour are investigated with a sensitivity to space and balance.’ 2
  • For still life paintings I think they actually portray a lot of movement. Whether this is due to the patterns of the vintage fabrics or the decorative spotty mugs and jugs, I don’t know. They feel very much alive to me though.
  • “The works are painted using mixed media on gesso panel, card and canvas. If I am painting in the studio I stand up to work either at an easel or a table focusing on energetic mark making, experimenting with the paint media, building transparent and opaque layers, allowing the texture of the brush to suggest rather than describe. Surfaces are constructed and de-constructed scraping and wiping away the medium and then re-applying the paint with a variety of brushes and tools until the piece has the balance and interest of the place that inspired me. My landscapes have the immediacy of a glimpse, somewhere seen in my peripheral vision as I walk the Cornish or Scottish landscape.” 3





Alice Kettle exhibition

At the weekend I visited Alice Kettle’s exhibitions, Threads and more threads, which are running simultaneously at The Winchester Discovery centre and The Candida Stevens gallery in Chichester.

I went to the Winchester Discovery centre first and the first piece I looked at was in the cafe and is 16.5 metres long and 3m high, a very impressive piece called ‘Looking forward to the past’.  When viewed from a distance it looks like a huge painting, it’s only when you get close up you see all the stitches and embroidery which has been done on a massive scale. It was not part of the exhibition as it has been in place there for several years, but it was a wonderful taster for the pieces displayed in the gallery.

On show in the gallery was Alice’s debut piece, ‘Sea’, which is the first in her new series of work, ‘Thread bearing witness’ which is about displaced people. You can find out more HERE


Alice Kettle- Sea Winchester Discovery centre


Detail of Alice Kettle’s ‘Sea’

Alice’s work is very thought provoking, and nearly all her pieces tell a story. Most are large scale works with lots of machine stitching. The textiles are like abstract collages, from a distance, a painting, up close, an artwork in threads.  She uses a lot of metallic threads all overlaid with each other which gives a real lustre and dimension to her pieces and also has the effect of changing the colour of the work in different lights or from different viewing points. The stitch marks and colours blend together, looking like paint brushed onto canvas. She uses many different types of thread, from fine metallics to thicker wools or couched threads to outline figures or animals, making them look like pen lines on the fabric.Project6

This was one of my Favorite pieces- Paradise Lost, her feelings and interpretation of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power station disaster in Japan. I found this piece very poignant , I don’t know whether it was because I remember the disasters that befell Japan so I could relate to it more? I liked the little japanese floating islands and the pop of the red thread on the muted background.

Downstairs at the Discovery centre there was another exhibition running called ‘Stitching stories- making common ground’. It had works by various artists “using stitch and mark making to express ideas on the themes of passage and movement of people and objects and the making of community”project21.jpg

Top row, Left to right- ‘Battle of Narvick’ Vanessa Rolf, ‘Looking through to freedom’ Margaret Lawson, ‘Motherland’ Yvonne Johnson-Mills, ‘Sea Currents’, A-untitled, B-untitled Alice Kettle.

Bottom row- ‘Displacement’ Ann Wheeler, ‘Transportation’ Alison Hamblin

There were lots of different works, using a variety of techniques that covered the theme very well. It was very interesting to see how people had interpreted the theme and the ideas that they had come up with.


There was also the chance to take part in the ‘Stitch a tree project’ (you can find more details about this project in the link further up in the text).  This project is asking you to stitch a tree which will then be made into a large piece of work by Alice Kettle entitled ‘Forest’ which will be auctioned and the money raised used to support refugee charities.

The Candida Stevens gallery in Chichester was a lot smaller and unfortunately I was unable to stay for the talk which Alice was giving at the gallery. There were several smaller, 3D pieces on show which I found interesting and one of Alice’s collages showing how she visualises her ideas before starting on a piece. 20171111_135048 ‘Collage’- Alice Kettle

I spent a while looking at this piece as I was very intrigued with her layers and techniques of putting her ideas together.



‘Queen Henrietta Maria’- Alice Kettle

This was my favorite piece at the Chichester gallery. It was very vibrant and I was drawn to it as soon as I walked into the room. It looked like some of the background was printed and then there were all sorts of different threads, fabrics and odds and ends incorporated into the piece.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Alice’s work. The tiniest details in a large piece could draw you in and seeing the stitchwork up close was amazing and really made you appreciate how much work and time must go into each of her pieces. I liked the abstract aspect of her work, it reminded me of art journaling techniques and I enjoyed reading the story behind each piece.

All photos taken by me at the exhibits.