I am a London based textile artist, bookbinder and printmaker. Drawn to a story or narrative which leads to research around the subject, I am often triggered by fleeting emotional perceptions which, once articulated, can send me on unexpected tangents. I continue to develop technical skills to present my subsequent thought-provoking images.
I often work in different media around an idea – for instance, my original Spurn textile book led to a smaller book which led to a wall hanging which was followed by a concertina book. Small embroideries may later evolve into etchings, and so on. I really like to explore a topic.
Worn: October 2023
Beneath the seams
I looked at what we decide not to reveal about ourselves, the emotions we try to keep hidden. I repurposed men’s suit jackets and used colour and stitch to convey the various emotions. I used colours associated with feelings: red – lust, hate; orange – psychosis, suspicion; brown – illness; yellow – cowardice/fear; green – envy; blue – melancholy; purple – rage; black – corruption. The stitching nearer the centre, where the emotion is felt, is larger and more dynamic, and nearer the edge of the garment it is more subdued, more hidden. Two of the jackets were from charity shops, but I had a connection to the others: two of the hangings were from one of my husband’s suits, another was half a jacket from a late friend, given to me, with another jacket, when we celebrated Clive’s life; another had been blagged from Joe Allen, a bespoke tailor.
Donated men’s suiting, wool and thread; hand stitched
“It was consensual“
It was consensual, in the darkroom, featured three LBDs stitched in iridescent threads with remarks, usually off-the-cuff, made to women by men. During the exhibition a visitor suggested that I should put a whiteboard outside the room for visitors to add their own! These pieces evolved from my work with jackets.
Dresses from charity shops, iridescent paints and threads, recycled earrings. Hand painting, machine and hand stitch.
Here Am I
Here Am I was shown at the Prism exhibition in Spring, but was updated to reflect my latest surgery. This from-life bodyprint uses stitching to replicate surgical scars, some dating back over fifty years, but most, including the Albert, my stoma, since 2020. Creating this piece tapped into deep sensate memories prompting painful reminders of long forgotten or buried emotional and physical traumas.
Unfortunately, it seems to be a work in progress, but I am now used to wearing this worn out body!
Old sheeting and fabric scraps, acrylic paints, recycled and vintage threads; hand stitched.
Baby boomer women will remember playing with cardboard dolls and dressing them in the latest fashions – paper clothes with little tabs to hold them on. This limited edition book harks back to that time, using beautiful fabrics as well as papers. Whilst I made everything in the books, my neighbour, Ava Clarke, aged 8, made many of the additional outfits.
Cartridge and other papers, some hand printed; fabric scraps, some vintage, embellishments, paints and inks
Stories in Stitch: March 2022
Spurn notebook. A small notebook with workings out and experiments. 14 x 12 cm, approx
Patti’s current work is based on the changing landscape of Spurn Point. She tells the stories of its people, showing children at school and on the beach, the fishermen, the sloops off the spit and, poignantly, volunteer lifeboatmen in flimsy cork lifejackets. Researching their lives, she reveals the hidden courage, motivations and emotions which lie behind reported events. Techniques include hand and machine embroidery, print- and book-making, with recent success at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
The Show: December 2020
I attended a workshop with Alice Fox not long after she had completed her residency on Spurn Point, and was intrigued by the landscape. After personal research I started to discover the history of this small spit of land and became absolutely fascinated. I visited Spurn for the first time some four years ago, and have since been drawn deeper and deeper into the lives of the people who once lived there.
I now have contacts with the local history group, authors of books and pamphlets on the area, and have managed to find long out-of-print publications. My research seems to work like stepping stones – one question asked brings up a myriad of information which leads to further research – such as the loss of the Brig Emma on the sandbanks at the south of the island in a storm in 1893. This led to my book, Spurn, being kept in a seaman’s duffle bag with the name of the captain of the Brig … which in turn led to contact from the captain’s great grand-daughter.
I became very emotionally involved with the lives of the people who lived on this spit – the lifeboatmen and their families – who were often left in darkened, flooding houses whilst their menfolk were out at sea, risking their own lives to save others; the children, mixed ages, gleaning an education with teachers who were also involved in the post office; families trying to eke out a living by gathering “sea coal”, salvaging wrecked vessels and helping to load sloops with sand and gravel off the “binks”.
My book depicts the changing landscape of Spurn – the spit itself moves over time, but is also being eroded, more rapidly in recent years since the coastal defences are no longer being maintained. Of greater importance to me is telling the story of the people themselves – showing children at school and on the beach, the fishermen, the sloops off the spit, and, probably most poignant, the volunteer lifeboat men wearing their flimsy cork lifejackets.
My two large pieces for the exhibition, Stories in Stitch, are, again, around the lives and land of Spurn Point. The first is a hanging showing the shadow of the land from above with small pieces of fabric floating in the air instead of the sea.
The second is a large “page” from my book – a collage of fabric, paper and mixed media.
I have also made bags for the other five sailors lost on the Brig Emma. The story of their loss, which sometimes overwhelms me, is told in a small accompanying book.
A Letter in Mind: Changing Perspectives, The National Brain Appeal, Gallery Different, London, November 2023
Worn, textiles2020, Espacio Gallery, London, October 2023 2023
Fishy Tales (a collaborative project), Festival of Quilts, NEC Birmingham, August 2023
The Director’s Cut, Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair online exhibition, July 2023
Warped, PRISM, The Art Pavilion, London. April/May 2023
Piece by Piece, CityLit Art Gallery, February 2023
Collateral (see 2022) also exhibited in Cotton: labour, land and body, Crafts Council Gallery, 2022-23
A Letter in Mind: A Sense of Movement. The National Brain Appeal, Gallery Different, London, November 2022
Stories in Stich, textiles2020. Espacio Gallery, London, April 2022
Untold Stories, Prism Textiles, The Art Pavilion, London, March 2022
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Piccadilly, London, September 2021-January 2022
A Letter in Mind, The National Brain Appeal, London, November 2021
Collateral, British Textiles Biennial 2021 (contribution to Brigid McLeer’s installation) Queen Street Mill, Lancashire, 2021
Printmakers’ Council Archive, work included in the permanent collection at the Scarborough Museums Trust, 2021
Sewn Antidote. Contributed to a collaborative textile artwork on reflections to the first lockdown of the COVID pandemic conceived and stitched together by Lara Hailey. Accepted as part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s textile collection, 2020
textiles2020: the show, Espacio Gallery, London, December 2020
In Transition, CityLit Gallery, Covent Garden, London, February-March 2020
Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, Arsenal, London, November 2019
Construction Sites, CityLit, Covent Garden, London, July 2019
London Print Studio Summer Show, Kilburn, London, July 2019
Meanwhile, R K Burt Gallery, London, July 2019
Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, Arsenal, London, October 2018
London Print Studio Summer Show, Kilburn, London, July 2018
Pressing Time, R K Burt, London, June 2018
CLFA Final Show, Espacio Gallery, London, July 2017
Stuff of Life, Whitehouse Arts, Cambridge, November 2015
Human Attitudes: an exhibition of modern marquetry, Portico Library, Manchester; solo exhibition, March 1976
Marquetry, Lantern Gallery, Manchester; solo exhibition, October 1975