Workshops are Back!

It has been wonderful connecting with students in person again. I have really enjoyed my online teaching this past year and a bit and am sure it will continue too.

Work at Sussex Prairies

My first live workshop of the season was at Sussex Prairies Garden and on the theme of gardens. Lovely as always to be back and I am returning in September.

work at Alexandra Waylett’s studio

I was pleased to visit Alexandra Waylett’s studio and provide two two-day sessions on ‘Birds and Collages’ with some very talented people… I am returning next year.

‘Birds and Collages’
work from taster session at ‘Atelier beside the Sea’

I was invited to work with the Tutton and Young team at their new venue ‘Atelier Beside the Sea’ on the Brighton seafront. I have two courses coming up in July and August.

Paper and textile folding books at West Dean College

I am pleased to be a tutor at the wonderful West Dean College and to have just completed a three day course on ‘Stitchbooks’ there. We had a great time making, printing and stitching. I am returning in November and next summer.

Screen printing at the college
my work on display for the students

There is always much preparation involved for these courses and it has given me a chance to revisit sketchbooks and select some for my students to look at.

sketchbooks in the studio

I was delighted to receive the ‘official’ photos of my solo ‘Well Travelled’ exhibition at Ruthin Craft Centre, on until 17 July. They were taken with some video footage which will be available via the Gallery’s website by Dewi Tannatt Lloyd.

‘Well Travelled’ Ruthin Craft Centre photo Dewi Tannatt Lloyd
‘Europeans’ photo Dewi Tannatt Lloyd

All details of forthcoming workshops can be found here.

‘Well Travelled’ at Ruthin Craft Centre

I am delighted and honoured to be showing a solo exhibition of recent work at the Ruthin Craft Centre. It opened on the 28th May and runs until 17 July, alongside two other exhibitions. If you are anywhere nearby it is a destination venue and a lovely town nestled between the mountains and the sea in North Wales. You have to register on the Gallery’s Eventbrite site and it is open from Wednesday to Saturday.

The accompanying brochure, which you can also see online

I am very grateful to Philip Hughes, Director of the centre, Jane Audas and Gregory Parsons as well as the staff at RCC for their assistance in curating and hanging the exhibition.

I am really pleased to be having a socially distanced ‘Meet the Maker’ and book signing event this coming Saturday 5 June from 2-4 pm at the gallery. If you are interested in attending you can reserve a visiting slot during that time from the Eventbrite site.

Some items from the shop

The retail gallery at Ruthin is also selling smaller pieces of my work, not yet listed online, but you can contact them on +44 (0)1824 704774 if you see something you are interested in.

Lace Houses 1-5
Northern Sea Sailboats
Birds of Kent
Folk Gardens

I am awaiting the ‘official’ photos and video of the show, and am thankful to Gregory Parsons for sending through these low res shots that were taken during the installation.

I’m looking forward to visiting next weekend …

Exciting Times

After a very long time at home and participating in mainly online activities, it feels as if the UK is opening up a bit with a busy few months ahead.

West Dean College – main entrance

It was wonderful to drop off my work, including ‘Italian Landscape’ (below) at the wonderful West Dean College for a tutor’s exhibition. It will be on show during May and June, dates tbc. I am teaching ‘Stitchbooks Inspired by a Walk in the Park’ there at the end of August – just two places remaining. Details here.

‘Italian Landscape’

I am in the final stages of planning for ‘Well Travelled’ my major solo exhibition at Ruthin Craft Centre, from 28 May – 17 July this year, all being well. I have made a 3D plan for the hanging team and am hoping to visit when restrictions ease.

plan for exhibition

I was delighted to visit the amazing Gees Bend exhibition at the Alison Jacques Gallery in London recently – very colourful and inspiring work, by the ground breaking group of women.

Gees Bend quilts at Alison Jacques Gallery

I really enjoyed designing a new kit for the lovely French General in LA. The ‘Stitched Tree of Life’ is a live Zoom workshop on 26 June – you can sign up here.

Sample ‘Stitched Tree of Life’

I’ve been busy teaching workshops online to various guilds and groups – you can see a full list of available classes here.

It was a complete joy to help to judge the Batsford Prize this year. The work was varied and impressive given the unusual and stressful time that they have been working through. The shortlist is due to be announced very soon.

I’m looking forward to seeing this book published later this year. My work and an interview with me will be included. More details here.

Also very pleased to see this book review in the SAQA magazine of ‘Textile Travels’.

‘Bird Tree’ hand painted in Gujurat

Finally my thoughts are with my friends in India during their terrible second wave of the pandemic. You can support local craftspeople and their work, fairly traded and run by Isha Sharma through her company Aahilya.

Spring and New Courses

‘Folk Garden – House’ recently sold

Spring is definitely on the way – I am being ‘jabbed’ today by our wonderful NHS and things feel more hopeful.

Recently as the road map out of lockdown has become clearer, I have been rescheduling classes and events for later this year and next.

It has been a very busy few weeks teaching online classes and giving talks, alongside my weekly KCC course ‘Stitchbook’.

‘Textile Folk Art’ teaching materials

I was delighted to teach ‘Folk Art Narratives’ online for the wonderful West Dean College a few weeks ago. I am hoping to teach there ‘in real life’ in the summer. Details of my new course here – ‘Stitchbooks Inspired by a Walk in the Park’ .

‘New Forest Bird 1’ sold recently

I am also teaching a one day online class for Cowslip Workshops at the end of the month, which is full, and hoping to visit in July, on the 3rd and 4th for ‘Travels in Textiles’. It’s a wonderful setting in Cornwall and just visiting is a holiday!

Park Walk Books in studio

There are also a few spaces left for the same course ‘Travels in Textiles’ at the fantastic Hope and Elvis in Welbeck in September, on the 4th and 5th.

Folding books in studio

I am delighted to be returning to the wonderful Unit 12 in Stafford for a House and Home course on July 12th. Their gallery is well worth a look too!

Other residential events have been rescheduled for 2022 and can be seen here, as the dates are confirmed.

‘Moving Memories’ student work

Closer to home, I am offering two garden themed courses at the superb Sussex Prairies Garden, where we are able to work inside or out, socially distanced if necessary. The first is sold out but there are places on the second on September 11th ‘Make a Garden Textile Sketchbook’.

‘Undersea’ (detail) 2021

I have been making drawings based on the home – and as a result of being largely confined to it we do look at things more closely. My little booklet ‘House Drawings’ is available here and 20% of sales go to my local food bank.

‘House Drawings’ booklet

I was delighted to speak with author and writer Charlotte Abrahams recently and our chat is on the ETC travel blog, in a series on artists and makers.

In the studio in Italy – photo Rob Sverijinen

And last but most certainly not least I am continuing to prepare for my solo exhibition at the Ruthin Craft Centre later this year, all being well. I was delighted to see this spread in Embroidery Magazine.

Pages from Embroidery Magazine and photography by Rachel Whiting for RCC

The Longest Month

January always seems the longest month, but more so this year as the UK continues its third lockdown. Happily my online teaching has resumed and my Kent Adult Education students from all over the UK are continuing to make work on our ‘Nature Stitchbook’ course. There are a few spaces available on the next series of classes which begin in April. Details here.

my Shed Studio

I’m continuing also to give studio talks and workshops online – it is an absolute pleasure to share my work and practice in this way. Next weekend I am teaching a class for West Dean College and looking forward to it. Contact me through this website if you are interested in booking a talk or course for your group or guild.

My daily park walk

I also continue to enjoy walks near home – I am fortunate to live in West Kent, which borders on East Sussex and has many beautiful places to visit within walking distance. I have been working on a series of folding books inspired by local walks, for my forthcoming exhibition at Ruthin Craft Centre, later on this year, all being well.

Park Walk folding books, detail

I was given a lovely sketchbook as a Christmas gift from my son and his wife, and have been keeping daily drawings of domestic life, as a record of this unsettling time and a way through to realising potential new starting points.

Home sktetches
Sketchbooks sold online

I’ve been heartened by the response to a collaboration with my daughter Ruth Fox @ruth_fox_stitch on Instagram, making some pieces using cross stitch elements with fabric collage. I continue to sell work through my online shop , and am happy to ship internationally. 10% of sales go to my local foodbank.

Bird Postcards from my shop
Photographing work

The documentation and writing of work always takes much time and continues all year round. I’ve been revisiting older pieces and making new work for a variety of venues – you can see my forthcoming news and events here.

a detail from ‘European Waters’, new work

Finally I was delighted to hear this week that Batsford Books is reprinting ‘Textile Travels’, first published in October 2020. Thank you to everyone who has purchased and enjoyed a copy.

2020 Review

And what a year it has been! A most stressful and exhausting one (emotionally and physically) is finally almost done. It has been difficult but not entirely without some good moments, which I am highlighting here.

‘Environmental’

The year started with some terrible wildfires in Australia, and a growing recognition of the climate emergency which is unfolding around us. If not for a quickly developing respiratory virus pandemic, that might have been the main story of 2020. I visited family and friends in Germany and Canada.

Painting with natural dyes in Gujurat

In February, I led my third tour to India to Gujurat, which has an amazingly diverse and rich textile heritage. I had worked with Colouricious Holidays for several visits, and am happy to be looking at leading some tours for Bespoke Travel India in 2022, all being well.

Lovely work at the Warm Brook Barn in Vermont

March was the month that everything changed. It started out with a lovely stitch retreat with French General, in Vermont. Wonderful participants, accommodation and food, and I was delighted to work with French General later on in the year on an online project ‘Threads Together Stitched Apart”.

Bag project for ‘Stitch’ magazine

In April we were in a national lockdown, and all of my teaching for the remainder of the year was moved online or postponed. Like other makers and tutors, I found it challenging and was very grateful to have online opportunities from West Dean College, where I am due to teach next year, Kent Adult Education (online classes) which are continuing next term, and the wonderful Textileartist.org, who have written a feature on my new book too.

‘New England Houses’ series

In May I started making new work to sell online. I have sold my work through galleries, museums, at shows, workshops and from my studio in the past, but having more limited contact this year meant looking for alternative opportunities. I joined the great Artist Support Pledge, supporting my local foodbank with a 10% donation on all sales.

I am delighted to send work all over the world and enjoy the comments from visitors to my online shop. I was pleased to be a part of several charity exhibitions – at Candida Stevens Gallery in Chichester and the Secret 7″ show at NOW Gallery in Greenwich. I had a small piece touring in Switzerland with Swiss Fiberarts and have some work for sale through Timeless Textiles Gallery in Australia.

from ‘The Stitchers Journal’

I continued to contribute to various websites, books and journals this year. There were several standout pieces in readiness for the publication of ‘Textile Travels’. This piece by Caroline Zoob and Jane Audas in The Stitchers Journal was one. I also liked this blog post on the super School of Stitched Textiles site.

‘Park Walk’ Bird

In the good weather and even in the rain, I like to walk in our local park. In July I made some hand dyed and printed backgrounds with a series of hand stitched birds. These proved popular in my website shop.

Wedding gift , framed

In August, as the weather eased, I was able to travel for a brief Cornish break and to visit family and friends. It was a short respite from the conditions of what we have now come to regard as ‘normal’, and much appreciated.

Workshop at Sussex Prairies

I was able to teach two ‘in real life’ socially distanced workshops at the lovely Sussex Prairies Garden over the summer. Fortunately both days benefited from good weather and we had a sociable and creative couple of sessions. My workshops for next summer and throughout 2021 that have spaces are here.

photo Jane Audas

I was delighted to welcome my fourth book for Batsford ‘Textile Travels’ to the world in October. I had a small socially distanced book launch and signing at the Pincushion Pantiles, my local quilting shop. They are also selling my kit ‘Tea on the Pantiles” and copies of my book. The book has been well received and is available internationally.

One of the highlights of 2020 was this commissioned feature by Jane Audas in ‘Embroidery Magazine’ and having a detail of ‘Corali’ appear on the cover. It was a real pleasure to see the article and so sensitively written too.

‘World Bird Tree’ mixed media embroidery

One of the benefits of having a little more time in the studio at home this year has been having the time to make new work, but also to rework older and unfinished pieces. I wrote about my Quarantine Quilt for Mr X Stitch and they have also published a recent interview and book review.

‘Stay at Home’ shortlisted this year

What does 2021 hold? I am scheduled to have a major solo exhibition, ‘Well Travelled’, at the fabulous Ruthin Craft Centre, from mid March until July, pending further lockdowns and other scheduling commitments. I am busy with courses, talks and residential workshops online and in person, but this will all be highly dependent on the success of the vaccination programme next year.

Summer beach walk

A very happy holiday season and all best wishes for 2021 ! … x Anne

Winter News

Some new pieces from my online shop – a collaboration with my daughter Ruth Fox- a print designer who has been making beautiful cross stitch elements

The days are definitely getting shorter and cooler as we head into winter proper.

I have had a busy few weeks and am still managing to go for my ‘park walks’ in the locality – making new work for my exhibition ‘Well Travelled’ at Ruthin Craft Centre in the spring next year.

New ‘Park Walk’ work drying outside my studio

I was delighted to find that my piece ‘Corali’ was chosen for the cover of the November/December issue of ‘Embroidery’ magazine. The accompanying article by Jane Audas is thoughtful and insightful.

A reminder that my latest book for Batsford, ‘Textile Travels’ is widely available to purchase now…

I have been busy also designing kits – something new to me and very heartening to see the imaginative and personal interpretations of my designs. My piece for the wonderful ‘Threads Together Stitched Apart’ project by French General was based on travels in New England. I’m currently starting to design a new project for release in the spring. Watch this space!

I have also designed a little kit for my local quilting shop Pinchushion Pantiles – called ‘Tea on the Pantiles’ – it is very reasonably priced , using cotton fabrics and a great gift for a stitcher:

As we continue to work during these challenging times, I have really enjoyed connecting with my local Kent Adult Education groups, and our ‘Nature Stitch Book’ project will continue in the spring.

I have enjoyed experimenting with a range of print techniques lately to share in future classes – both online and hopefully in real life… You can see my classes with spaces for next year here.

I’m excited to be going to France next year to Les Soeurs Anglaises for a ‘Moving Memories’ workshop – a beautiful venue – very inspiring – details here.

I hope everyone reading this has a safe and happy holiday season, whatever you do and wherever you are…

Recent Exhibitions

I

It has been lovely to be a part of two ‘real life’ exhibitions recently. I received some photos of my work at the opening of Un/Framed – a selected hoop art exhibition touring Switzerland at present. The photos show the vernissage at the museum in Winterthur with Annina Pandiani – a professor at the University of Bern, giving her opening remarks.

Closer to home, I was delighted to have my (at present mystery!) single cover design selected for the final Secret 7’s exhibition in Greenwich at the NOW gallery. The exhibition is raising funds for the wonderful Choose Love Charity. It is great to be exhibiting alongside 700 artworks including examples from Lubaina Himid, Anish Kapoor, Tacita Dean, Mark Wallinger.

some eye catching examples

The Gallery is tucked away on the Greenwich Penninsula opposite the O2 and there is parking nearby. It has become the new ‘Design Quarter’ as you can see by the hoardings surrounding the construction area.

I was also pleased to contribute to the fundraising for the ‘Art of Kent’ auction recently. My little piece ‘Home Over the Rainbow’ raised £ 175 for the Heart of Kent charity.

I’m continuing to support the Artists Support Pledge – selling work through my website shop and online. I have been able to send a regular additional contribution to our local food bank as a result. I am setting up an archive page for larger works, which will be available on an enquiry basis.

Back in the studio, I am making detailed plans for my solo exhibition ‘Well Travelled’ at Ruthin Craft Centre next year. I was also pleased to receive a report from NEWCIS, after delivering workshops through them and the centre over the past two years. You can sign up for 2021 workshops on my ‘News’ page, scroll down for current activities and course information.

‘Textile Travels’ is arriving!

I am very excited and proud to announce the arrival of ‘Textile Travels’ , my fourth title for Batsford Books on the 1st October. In these challenging times it is wonderful to have a new book to celebrate.

The book is as the Batsford advance information says:

An evocative exploration of how travel – local and far away – can inform, inspire and enhance textile art.

Travel has always featured heavily in textile art, from artists’ ‘travelling sketchbooks’ to large-scale installations mapping coastal erosion or the effects of climate change. In this book, renowned textile artist Anne Kelly shows how to capture your travels, past and present, in stitch, with practical techniques sitting alongside inspiring images.

She begins the book by discussing maps in textile art, including their iconography as well as incorporating actual maps into textile work. She then goes on to explore the influence of different cultures from across the globe on textile art.

From India and Peru to Scotland and Scandinavia, the book shows how to harness traditional techniques, fabrics, motifs and colours for use in your own work. The chapter ‘Stopping Places’ captures the moments in time on a journey that can be distilled, remembered and documented to create stitched postcards, sketchbooks and other pieces. The final chapter, ‘Space and the Imagination’, explores the possibilities of space travel as a source of inspiration, and covers inner space too, with artists mapping their own emotional journeys.

Including a wealth of practical tricks and techniques as well as exquisite photography of both Anne’s own work and that of other leading textile artists, this fascinating book will inspire all textile artists, embroiderers and makers to use past travels to influence their work.’

I’m really pleased to have a ‘face to face’ (socially distanced of course) book signing arranged with the lovely people at Pincushion Pantiles, in Tunbridge Wells, where I live. It’s on Saturday the 3rd of October from 2-4 pm and you can preorder your copy on their website or send me a message.

I’m also hoping to do a launch day chat on Instagram, you can follow my account for announcements and details. There have been very positive reviews in both Embroidery and the Quilter magazines – current editions.

It has been wonderful to see the response to the Artists Support Pledge work I have been highlighting on social media. All the work under £ 200 on my website is eligible and I have been busy visiting the post office sending packages all over the world!

I was heartened also by the response to the Textile Artist ‘Stitch Club’ workshop that I gave last month. The work was really superb and there were a wide range of interpretations of the theme which was great to see.

I am returning to my work for Kent Adult Education online this month and hoping that a few socially distanced workshops (for details of forthcoming planned classes see here) will proceed. I’m doing some studio chats on Zoom which is really fun and a good option for groups who aren’t able to meet at the present uncertain time. Contact me for details and stay well and safe everyone !

‘Indian Gardens Bag’ off to a new home shortly…

Summer Stories

We are experiencing a heatwave here in parts of the UK and I was fortunate to get away last week for a short family visit in the south west and to Cornwall. It was lovely after working straight through lockdown and being very busy to see some new scenery and have a break.

I made a sketchbook cover for a ‘Rockpool’ themed book – it is filling up with sketches and collections of plants and rocks (small ones!). So many colours and textures and so inspiring in the south west of England. It features in my new book – there are several pieces inspired by my teaching tour last year, which seems like an age ago. I was delighted to receive my preview copy of ‘Textile Travels’ (Batsford) which is due to be published at the beginning of October.

Title page, ‘Textile Travels’

I have been busy creating work for various forthcoming exhibitions and participating in the wonderful ‘Artist Support Pledge’ scheme. I was a late adopter but it is great to see people enjoying it and also being able to donate 10% of my sales to my local food bank. As I reached the first target of sales, I was able to purchase this lovely little piece by David Cass.

Matchbox artwork by David Cass

Whilst I was travelling back from the southwest I popped in briefly to the lovely Cowslip Workshops, where all being well I am due to teach next year. Jo as always was welcoming even though extremely busy and it was great to see her new studio.

Then it was home to my Shed Studio, which has just been refurbished and is looking very smart.

Shed Studio

I am developing several online workshops, details to follow and looking forward to my ‘Stitch Club’ workshop for Textileartist.org, for the week of the 24th of August ‘Mapping Your Journey’. I had such amazing feedback from the community stitch challenge and am still receiving images of work inspired by the sessions like this lovely one from Jude @hearth_felt on Instagram.

This was my holiday stitching, also based on the ‘Tree of Life’ theme:

I am also continuing with the Artist Support Pledge and selling pieces online and from my shop, like this little folding book, recently sold.

detail of folding book

Finally I was delighted to discover that my piece ‘Stay at Home’ has been shortlisted for the final round of judging for the Vliseleine Fine Art Textile Award.