Tag Archives: Exhibition

FIVE Textile Art exhibition at Ely Cathedral

We’re really pleased that our textile art exhibition ‘A Special Place’ will be taking place at Ely Cathedral from 9th – 22nd March 2022. Please come and visit! The theme of the exhibition is ‘A Special Place’.
‘We all have a secret somewhere to go to for comfort, inspiration or happiness. In this exhibition, five textile artists explore their own inspirational locations.
This fascinating collection of work ranges from handmade felt to goldwork through mixed media to quilting, all exquisitely executed. The work is based on local gardens and faraway places. Many of the exhibits will be available to purchase.
Barbara Deacon, Cheryl Montgomery, Elaine Grahame, Jane Robinson and Suzanne Ball have worked together for ten years. This is their third group exhibition, after previous successful exhibitions in Worthing & Milton Keynes’.
I’ll be at the Cathedral on some of the days, so if you’d like to meet up, do let me know when you’re planning to visit. There is more detail on the Cathedral website, for example opening times etc. Entry to the exhibition is free, and there’s a charge of £8.50 to visit the rest of the Cathedral.

The Thread

I’m currently taking part in a small textile art exhibition at the Roffey Park Institute near Horsham. Roffey Park has a new exhibition of art-work every 3 months, and this time they invited six local textile artists. It was good to meet other textile people while we were putting it up (supposedly silently, as we were installing the art in the corridors while training courses were going on, although silence was hard to achieve once we got chatting). It was lovely to meet the other people exhibiting. If you’d like to visit, please phone the institute first as it’s a working environment.

Here’s some lovely work by Isobel Moore and Diane Rogers (below). I’ve seen both their work online and in exhibitions, so it was nice to meet them ‘for real’.

Diane Rogers


Isobel Moore







Also on display are the amazing ‘Rainbow hangings’ that were created by different Embroiderers Guild branches. There are 50 or so densely embroidered hangings, made up individually stitched squares of one colour, between them making a lovely rainbow-coloured collection. They were stitched by different Embroiderers Guild branches and put together as a collective exhibition that tours the country. Here are 2 close-up examples.



‘FIVE’ are in Milton Keynes

‘FIVE’ are back again…

We are moving our recent exhibition (together with some new work) up to Milton Keynes. We are showing stitched textile work inspired by the wonders of World Textiles. You will get get two exhibitions in one visit, because we are exhibiting alongside an Embroiderers Guild exhibition based on the work of garden designer Capability Brown. I’m working away on some new pieces for the new location. Will try to post some images but time is escaping – as it does – I think the world has sprung a leak somewhere, so the time dribbles out!  I hope you can come and visit us at the new venue.

‘FIVE’ Exhibition is now open

The ‘FIVE’ exhibition is now installed in Worthing. I’ve ‘disappeared’ from my blog for a while because of preparations for the exhibition, so I’m pleased to say it’s all hung and open to visitors now. There’s one photo above of a finished section, and I’ll add more photos of the final installation when I’ve taken some in better light.

In the meantime, here are some photos of ‘work in progress’ while we were hanging the work. We did have a few ‘headless chicken’ moments, but we were OK once we’d worked out a ‘grand plan’ of what was going where before getting down to details. There’s so much to organise in advance, down to the minutest details like the size and length of screws needed, where to source plinths from, publicity and writing Artist Statements etc. Working out a ‘house style’ was well worth the time invested, to give some continuity for labels etc.

The ‘team’ all stayed at my house during the 3 days of installation as I’m the only one local to the exhibition. I have to admit, by the time we were kicked out of the gallery each day at closing time we were ready for a glass of wine or three. My husband is now convinced that textiles are just a ‘cover’ for an eating and drinking group. Mind you, having just taken out the recycling I can see why he thinks that!

We’re at The Studio Gallery at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery, Chapel Road, Worthing BN11 1HP. If you’re planning to come over, then a good time to come would be this Saturday, 14th May between 2 and 5pm. That’s the one time when all five of us will be there so we’d love to see you then. Otherwise, we’re open until May the 21st, from Tuesday-Saturday, 10.00am to 5.00pm. Do come to see us if you can. Here’s a sneak preview below of part of the room in a panoramic shot.



‘FIVE’ Exhibition

I’m pleased to tell you about our new exhibiting group, ‘FIVE’. We’re a group of textile artists (yes there are five of us – how did you guess?!) who have joined together as an exhibiting group. We met through the City and Guilds Diploma course in Stitched Textiles at Missenden Abbey, and became firm friends through our shared love of everything to do with textiles. How lucky you are if you stumble across people with shared interests, and what a joy it is to support and encourage each other along our textile journey.

We all felt ready for a new challenge, so we decided to plan a joint exhibition of textile art. We all love the rich variety of world textiles, which we studied in some depth during our course, and it left us buzzing with new ideas for designs. For this reason we decided to base our first exhibition on World Textiles. The starting point for each piece is something from the world textiles that we love. It may be a colour combination, a pattern, a shape or function, or it may just be a texture.

We’re all working on very different things. I’m working on a series of Indian-inspired panels, using the bright colours and the ‘sparkle’ of Indian textiles. Barbara is working on cushions, some of which are inspired by the subtleties of English embroidery. Elaine is making a series of embroidered mirrors that each reflect the colours and motifs of different continents, all so very different from each other. Suzanne is working on a hand-felted and embroidered jacket in the vibrant and exciting colours and patterns of Guatemala. Cheryl’s ‘family  of stitched dolls’ represent family groups from different countries and cultures who are uprooted from one country to another, and the journey they go on as they move from a familiar culture to a new one. They are currently travelling the country, and the people ‘hosting’ them are writing different entries in their travel journal. It will be interesting to see what has appeared in the journal by the time they reach Worthing in May.

It’s an exciting and challenging experience putting on our first exhibition outside the more ‘sheltered’ confines of end-of-course shows. It’s all very exciting – I’ll keep you posted.

Missenden Abbey Diploma shows

Bobby Francis

The Missenden Abbey Open Day last weekend was a wonderful display of work across a range of different subjects. There were tutor displays that included floral art, beadwork, botanical painting, watercolour, ceramics, mosaics, batik and goldwork. I had an interesting conversation with a graphologist, who ‘read’ my handwriting with great accuracy. She seemed quite intrigued by the fact that I can write fluently in joined-up mirror-writing (not the most useful skill in the world, but apparently quite interesting for a graphologist. I gather I share this strange phenomenon with Leonardo Da Vinci and Lewis Carrol!). I remember quite clearly one day, as a child, I just decided that I would be able to do mirror-writing, and sat down and did it. It didn’t take any practice. There was a strange way of shutting off the part of the brain that said I couldn’t do it, and almost hypnotising myself into knowing that I could do it. It seems to be important that I have both feet planted on the ground, and that I am relaxed. There’s a process of kind of ‘sinking down inside myself’ almost like a meditation, and then it just happens. I have no idea why, or what it means. The only thing I do know is that it feels just the same as being absorbed in observational drawing.

We were impressed with the City and Guilds student work in Stitched Textiles (Embroidery) and Patchwork and Quilting. The photo above is a piece by Bobby Francis. It is a big ‘installation’ of exuberant folded strips of stitched paper, which cascade from a height of about 6ft, to a ‘tumble’ on the floor. Below left is the ‘tumble’ as it lands on the floor, and below right is a detail of a stitched ‘seam’ that runs down the piece. I wondered if it was inspired by seams in rock, as rock formations was Bobby’s subject for her Research Project.

Bobby Francis, C&G Stitched Textiles

Bobby Francis, C&G Stitched Textiles










Bobby Francis

I watched Bobby’s Research Project with particular interest as her chosen subject (rock formations) was similar to mine (rocks and fossils). However, it’s amazing to see how very differently things turn out, even from a similar starting point. Here are a couple more of Bobby’s pieces (left and below) both of which I find very striking and exuberant.

Bobby Francis, C&G Stitched Textiles

In complete contrast, this lovely piece (below) by Barbara Deacon is stitched in delicate detail. It was made for Barbara’s god-daughter and her husband, and features the two continents of Africa and India that they each have particular connections to, through historical family connections and through travel. Dyed fabric is used beautifully for the sea and the land-mass, and the stitching is exquisite. I love the spirited elephants trotting across the top (see detail below).

Barbara Deacon, C&G Stitched Textiles (click to enlarge)

Barbara Deacon, C&G Stitched Textiles

Barbara Deacon, C&G Stitched Textiles (click to enlarge)

I think a mark of a good course is when each student develops work that is unique and personal to them. Another good example of this from the Missenden Abbey show is the work of Anne Lange (pronounced Anna). Anne’s special subject was lettering, particularly examples of specific historical bibles. Anne spent time doing observational drawings in the British Library, and researching old documents in her home town in Germany that have particular historical resonance for her family history. The piece below is a great example of her use of ancient styles and lettering, to produce a rich, encrusted piece that has echoes of medieval illuminated manuscripts as well as Opus Anglicanum goldwork, blending the English and German traditions together.

Anne Lange, C&G Diploma

Anne Lange, C&G Diploma

Anne Lange, C&G Diploma

The piece below by Anne shows her use of rich encrusted ‘bling’, in an arcading design that could be medieval. I recommend that you look at her website to see more examples of her work. There are some lovely goldwork pieces there, and some interesting Mandalas. Anna runs online stitched textiles courses from Germany, which can be accessed from other countries too. Check out her website here



Anne Lange, C&G Diploma

A special mention should be made for Anne’s husband Burkhardt. Anne has travelled all the way from Germany for each of the Missenden Abbey C&G Certificate and Diploma weekends, spanning six years in total. Burkhard has driven with her from Germany each time, allowing her time to stitch in the car. Once I heard that, I discovered that I can stitch in the car without getting car-sick. Wonderful use of time. Husbands take note!!!

The Patchwork and Quilting work was impressive too. There were some beautiful full-sized quilts which I haven’t included here as I didn’t manage to catch the people who made them to ask their permission to put them on my blog. However, I did manage to catch up with three quilters who had made some small pieces ‘in the style of’ well-known quilt artists. It’s an interesting idea, to take the style and methods of someone well-known, and blend that with your own subject.

Chris Beamish, 'in the style of' Alicia Merritt.

Chris Beamish, ‘in the style of’ Alicia Merritt.

Chris Beamish, ‘in the style of’ Alicia Merritt (detail, click to enlarge).

Alison Mayall, 'in the style of' Phillipa Naylor.

Alison Mayall, ‘in the style of’ Phillipa Naylor.

Alison Mayall, 'in the style of' Phillipa Naylor (click to enlarge).

Alison Mayall, ‘in the style of’ Phillipa Naylor (detail, click to enlarge).

Kay Lockie, 'in the style of'  Kate Doughty.

Kay Lockie, ‘in the style of’ Kate Doughty.
















Unfortunately I completely missed all the Patchwork and Quilting Certificate work, as we accidentally missed out a whole room. Congratulations to Charlotte Haenlein, a Patchwork and Quilting Certificate student, who is being nominated by Missenden Abbey for the Medal for Excellence. Hopefully we will see some of her work somewhere soon.