textiles2020: the show

Espacio Gallery, December 2020

In December 2020 we held a group show at Espacio Gallery – we were lucky to have chosen a week between lockdowns when the gallery was open!

You’ll find Matthew Ward’s virtual tours of the gallery here, and we thank him for many of the gallery photos on this page.

Thanks to everyone who visited the show, in person or online. We welcome your feedback – please leave comments at the bottom of this page.

Kate Beale

A single piece of flat white silk organza can be transformed into a delicate, asymmetric 3d form; it can be clamped, stitched and boiled to create beautiful shapes that seem alive, and have an energetic, almost pulsating quality. The organic, living qualities of these forms are enhanced through the use of vibrant colour. Each piece is dyed at least 3 times, creating intriguing layers of depth and texture. They are all alike, but each is unique. Suspended, they appear to float gently together in space.

Untitled – an installation

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Rachel Gillard-Jones

Rachel Gillard-Jones uses textiles found in the home to explore stitch, embellishment and fabric manipulation. Her artwork uses clusters as a form to showcase the stitches and techniques.  This exhibition focuses on textiles found in the kitchen, making something beautiful from items that are not normally considered for their aesthetic value.

The glorification of the domestic textile and the home setting seems particularly relevant now, as we are confined to the home in lockdown.

Photos from Espacio, courtesy of Matthew Ward

Many Hands Make Light Work

Many Hands Make Light Work, details


This cluster explores the idea of thriftiness. It is made from repurposed clothing and textiles and stuffed with recycled upholstery stuffing. All materials used were stash scraps and threads and donations from friends.

Flour Bag

27 x 15 cms, NFS

Repurposed flour bag and mixed threads

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Nina Gross

Photos from Espacio, courtesy of Matthew Ward

34 Days Missing

34 Days Missing, 180 x 150 x 30 (NFS)

34 Days Missing, 180 x 150 x 30 (NFS)

Each strip of organza represents three of the thirty-four days that Alice, Nina’s sister, was missing. The pieces are themselves a reinterpretation of drawings, conveying the idea that memory is always a re-construction. There is a contrast between the desire to categorise and segment these memories neatly with the reality that they are not discrete units, but interchangeable flickers of clarity and haze. This is echoed through the transparency of the cloth and the change of perspective according to the viewer’s position.

34 Days Missing, Paper and ink (NFS)

These drawings were the starting point of the work, documenting the events and reports of the 34 days that Alice was missing. They take imagery and words from social media and news reports at the time, translating the digital footprint into something physical and tangible.

Each drawing has been re-interpreted in silk organza, using procion dye and hand stitch. Time is taken with each piece, quiet attention paid to each memory.

Days 1-12

Days 13-24

Days 25-34


Small framed works of suspended silk organza and hand stitch. Displayed free-standing or hanging.

Instagram: @ninagrossartist

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Karina Haake

Photos from Espacio, courtesy of Matthew Ward

Karina’s work explores the influence of myth, dream and fairytale on her Scandinavian/Latin upbringing. In search of an image or concept that could capture the essence of these two distinct cultures, she discovered a photograph of herself as a young child, dressed up as Santa Lucia – the 3rd century Sicilian saint, celebrated in Sweden during the winter solstice; a symbol of light and hope even in the darkest of times. 

Inspired and fascinated by candlelight, fireflies, reflections and the Aurora Borealis – its angels and daemons, Karina uses drawing, collage, embroidery, embellishment and digital printing to express her deep love of colour on this journey from darkness into light. 

Santa Lucia from the Swedish Church, London, 2019
Childwood I, 33 x 98cm, Wool, velvet, silk, organza, metallic thread. NFS
Childwood II, 55 x 75cm. Wool, silk, organza, metallic thread

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Kathryn Hollingsworth

Photos from Espacio, courtesy of Matthew Ward

These wall hangings have evolved from Kathryn’s research into surgical sutures and studies of a healing wound. Through a process of abstraction combining lush colours and a technique called faux chenille – layers of fabric stitched and cut on the bias to create a tufted texture – she has created vibrant interpretations of bruising, cuts and raw flesh.

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Ceridwen Sooke

Photos from Espacio, courtesy of Matthew Ward

Lockdown Antidote

During the recent period of lockdown and pandemic Ceridwen has been exploring further the organic plant forms which she saw in her garden and in the surrounding countryside.  Her work continues to be based on her drawings and paintings which focus on close up details of structure, colour and texture.  Her interest has been in creating 3D pieces by taking very fragile materials and transforming them into stronger constructions while retaining their essential qualities of fragility, vulnerability and resilience.


2m length x 17cm diameter

Detail of knitted tube.

Plastic bag yarn, plastic bottles and hand stitching

Box of Delights

33 w x 26 d x 13 cms h

Silk fibre, threads, fishing line, felt

Source material from my sketchbooks

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Annika Strandberg

Photos from Espacio

Annika is interested in story telling and where the tales might take us. A story is not fixed, it all depends on which way you look at it and the point of view. It can also change from day to day, the mood you are in and the opinions of others. In this work, Annika explores the relationship and interaction between different beings and invites the onlooker to make up their own story. What background stories could one of the Beings have? What could they be thinking? What might happen next?


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Gill Swanson

Photos from Espacio, courtesy of Matthew Ward

Gill’s work explores colour and texture. Inspired by nature, much of her work has an organic style. By combining vibrant colours and textures and using a variety of techniques she seeks to create work that reflects the powerful colours of plants and flowers. She enjoys working in an intuitive way and as her directions change as she works, new ideas unfold along the way.

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Patti Taylor

Photos from Espacio, courtesy of Matthew Ward


The textile book, Spurn, reflects the centuries of impact natural forces have brought to bear on the Humberside coastline at Spurn Head. Generations of families eked a harsh existence from often short-lived economically viable activities, each dependent on the sea and each ultimately destroyed by it, leaving redundant ruins and heartrending narratives. 

I was delighted that this book was shortlisted for the 2020 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

The book rolls and ties and fits into Capt Geo Barrett’s kit bag (see below).

The slideshow below shows the individual pages.

Materials: hessian, sacking, scrim, linen, silks and other small fabric scraps; vintage threads, cotton and linen, string, silk waste; abaca and lens tissues; teabag and khadi paper; acrylic and watercolour paints; oak gall and Indian inks; iron for rusting; acrylic gel, emulsion and gesso; in fact, anything I could set my hands on

The textile works depict fragments of such episodes – they show fragile human tenacity, brutal natural topography and inevitable tragedy.

All six crew were lost on the Brig Emma. These are the remains of their kit bags

Flotsam – was inspired by the fate of the brig Emma which foundered in 1893 on the Binks (sandbanks) with the loss of all hands.  This piece takes the form of a stitch hanging with suspended “floating” fragments (shown below) – the flotsam and jetsam which find their way to the Spit. 71 x 120 x 27 cms. £800
Spurn Notebook – an Artist’s Sketchbook tracing the progress and development of the theme both in terms of development of content, choice of materials and selection of techniques;  
Spurn collage, 121 x 108 cms, mixed media, £800

Spurn Collage, details

Instagram: @patti.taylor44 website: www.patti-taylor.co.uk

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Veronica Thornton

Photos from Espacio, courtesy of Matthew Ward

The coastal work is inspired by aerial photography documenting changes of the last 20 years and visits to Happisburgh, Waxham and Winterton on the coast of East Anglia where the speed of erosion is clearly evident. Sea defences have been destroyed and breached, roads and buildings that were close to the cliffs twenty years ago no longer exist.

The Five coastal strips suggest erosion over a period of time and are read from left to right as the sea and tides eat away at the land until the original coast has almost vanished. Veronica uses an embellisher to fuse together recycled natural materials which are hand dyed. Areas are hand stitched to suggest texture of land and beach. She also incorporates fabrics which are frayed and distressed to demonstrate the fragility and changing nature of the coast.

Five coastal strips. 180 x 120 cm. £500

Five coastal strips, details

Three coastal strips, 160 x 80cm. £250

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Yvonne Watts

Photos from Espacio, courtesy of Matthew Ward

Yvonne derives simple but dramatic botanical shapes from her own observational drawings of wild and exotic planting. These are used to create prints with polychromatic dye. She uses vibrant colours with layers of mark making to create highly imaginative compositions. She also uses paper mache and stitched organza to make tiny 3D plants.

Silk prints, 71 x 51cms. NFS

Collage compositions, 14 x 10cms. NFS

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44 thoughts on “textiles2020: the show”

    1. Sorry not to get back to you sooner, Frances, but I somehow missed this message. I have just checked our IG account and see that you are following us (for which, many thanks) so assume the problem resolved itself. Again, apologies. Patti

  1. The online exhibition is brilliant. It is so often difficult to take everything in when walking around a live exhibition and, although a virtual tour could never replace seeing work in the flesh (as it were), it is so good to be able to re-visit over a longer period of time and to enjoy something different, or a different aspect, on each visit. Such a talented group displaying some fascinating work – they deserve all the exposure they can get! Thank you.

  2. Dear Artists,

    What a very talented group of women you all are. I opened this email before Christmas but have taken more time this morning to have a good look at all the work in the exhibition and it has certainly lifted my spirits. I will definitely share it with friends too.

    Wishing you all a very creative and productive 2021. Special congratulations go to Patti.

  3. Such a shame I missed this inspirational exhibition. Just looking at it online has given me the push to develop the use of colour and technique in my work. Thank you.

  4. Thank you so much Nina for drawing my attention to this exhibition. I have not forgotten our conversations at West Dean and I am struck by your courage – and also by the necessity of forming shapes of the emotional intensity of living through and continuing to live with such absence. The work is shot through with pain and the tenderness of love for a sister. It needs to be seen for real. Don’t let this be the only opportunity.
    Congratulations to all.

  5. Stunning work! Particularly from the brilliant Karina Haake.

    So sorry I couldn’t be there to see it in person. Congratulations everyone xx

  6. Wonderful work!!! I’m very disappointed not to have been able to attend. How you’ve all managed to bring about such an amazing diversity of work during lockdown is truly impressive. Well done everyone. Quite marvellous!

  7. Loved this exhibition . Wonderful to have the virtual tour and individual videos .
    Especially Patti Taylor what a special Eulogy to people who lost their lives. Hope to come to Gallery in future.

  8. Anne-Marie KARLESKIND

    Merci de partager votre exposition et vos oeuvres sur Internet, c’est vraiment une bonne idée !
    C’est vraiment intéressant de découvrir la multiplicité des techniques, des couleurs et des matières

    Thank you for sharing your exhibition and your works on the internet, it’s a really good idea!
    It’s really interesting to discover the multiplicity of techniques, colors and materials.

  9. Such varied, dynamic and though provoking work. Sadly, I cannot travel from tier 3 to see this. The on-line content is excellent but the work cries out to be experienced in the flesh.

    1. Thanks, Cas – your feedback is really appreciated. A few of us started with your books! And yes, a real shame that COVID19 has stopped people coming to the gallery. We are lucky to be showing at all.

  10. Beautifully put together exhibition. The website gives you a real sense of the work. I can’t wait to see the pieces in person.

  11. Hi, I visited the exhibition on its opening day with my husband.
    I think it is beautifully put together, thought provoking, exciting exhibition and really enjoyed Discovering each textile piece.
    So glad that it is on your website so I can revisit works and read more about it.
    Well done!

  12. Well done everyone! What a fantastic show! I can’t believe how much your work has grown in idea and technique since February. Such fantastic work, and this website is a superb record for those who can’t visit in person. Huge congratulations to everyone. May your sales be plentiful, your comments complimentary and your derig smooth. Now for a well deserved break!

    1. Thanks for your lovely feedback, Héloïse. It’s been a very exciting year – and special thanks go to CityLit and Louise and Lara for supporting us thoughout.

  13. A very inspiring exhibition. The video of the organza pieces being teased apart is mesmerising! Thank you to those artists including an insight into their processes.. always fascinating. Clearly a lot of hard work and emotion has gone into every piece. Well done!

  14. Helen Crawford, Textile and Mixed Media Artist

    What a lovely exhibition, interesting diversity of inspirations and outcomes. I especially liked the booklet in the Patti Taylor’s Spurn collection. Also, the evocative 5 Coastal Strips by. Veronica Thornton. I felt that some of the images of details would work as wonderful compositions in their own right! I also enjoyed the beautiful undersea imagery of Yvonne Watts pieces.

    1. Thank you, Helen. It’s great to receive such detailed feedback – especially from a fellow textile artist. And this is our first time on-line, so we’re feeling our way a little!

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