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Exhibitions November 2011


I am exhibiting in this new gallery on Twickenham Green - Loverslights.
The gallery opens the weekend of the 12-13 November
More details on the website...

I am participating in this exhibition from the 8 - 19 November with several other 
artists including Sir Peter Blake in central London. Part of the proceeds are for a 
Welsh drug rehabilitation charity - the Hannah Meredith Foundation.
More information at
At the end of the month, I am exhibiting in Hove at Polish and Pin. The exhibition 
is open from 26 - 27 November and 3 - 4 December from 11 am - 5 pm.
More information on


Lyrical Journeys and Secret Scribbles


I was privileged to be able to help with this fundraising event for Hospice in the Weald. The exhibition, auction and sale was at the Brewhouse Hotel in Tunbridge Wells. It was well attended and supported. Here is a page from the programme:



'Index' magazine


My work has been featured this month in a local publication 'Index' magazine -

page 19 - shows a commission that I produced for a child's room


Festival of Quilts - 11-14 August 2011, Birmingham


I went to Birmingham this week to see my work at the Festival of Quilts. It was included in a really good display of stitched work on the theme 'Freiheit, Liberte, Freedom' curated by Gudrun Heinz. It is touring to Moscow, Prague and Germany...










BBC 'Homes and Antiques'


thrilled with studio and house shoot out in September issue of BBC 'Homes and Antiques'




Exhibition Updates


After a really successful SEOS in June, it has been a busy

rest of the month and start to July!

I had some work in the East Sussex Contemporary

 Art Fair in Rye

and in Ashford (continuing to 16 July) at the Art Room

 in the'Tree Exhibition'

I have a small panel this weekend at the Parallax Art Fair

- Parallax II in London

This is a photo of my panel:
















 we are open 4,5,8,11,12,15,18,19 June 11am - 6 pm




for more information see:














































































































































'Wall' at Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery and SEOS


I am exhibiting at the Art Gallery as part of a small group for SEOS. The display is up from 27 May - 9 June. For opening times, see

South East Open Studios opens on 4 June so I am in the process of getting the Shed Gallery ready - see  under 'Anne Kelly' number 123 listing in the booklet. I will post some pictures here when we have hung the exhibition.



'Polish and Pin' - is open...


 I spent some of the weekend at this lovely house in Hove- 23 Wilbury Gardens - a really strong selection of work and a yummy bakery!















This is my work in the front room (above)

and in a beautfiul panelled drawing room leading on to the garden:























Emma Troy's amazing collages (above) and Sylvie Howitt's intricate papercuts:









Brighton and Chicago!


I am exhibiting at 'Polish and Pin' in Hove Arts as part of the Artists Open Houses/Brighton Festival - a good variety of artists, makers and a bakery! I am invigilating part of every weekend in May so let me know if you are coming and I will meet you there!


















I also have some work at a lovely outlet 'Renegade Handmade' in Chicago - on Division Street.

They run the 'Renegade Craft Fairs' in the US and are bringing their work to the Old Truman Brewery in Spitalfields in October..















'Freiheit - Liberte - Freedom' 4th International Small Format Challenge


I found out on Saturday that my small piece 'Chinese Liberty' (below) has been chosen to exhibit in this touring exhibition organised by Gudrun Heinz in Germany. The show opens in Birmingham in August at the Festival of Quilts and tours to Moscow and Prague before returning to Germany:




'Domestic Mapping' at Wobblybridge Gallery, Tunbridge Wells


'Domestic Mapping' has moved to Wooblybridge Gallery, 92 Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells

I will be invigilating the exhibition Tuesday and Wednesday 12th and 13th April from 10 am - 5 pm

so do come and have a look!





'Domestic Mapping'


The exhibition is up and looks great! Jane Churchill from the Town and Country Foundation Gallery helped us hang it on Sunday.














The exhibition has also been listed in 'Fiberarts' magazine Spring edition:


Exhibition Card


We received our cards for the exhibition at Trinity and are really pleased with them:


Facebook page


I have set up a Facebook page for Anne Kelly Textiles

click for link














A new group exhibition with work by local artists and writers opened yesterday evening at Tunrbidge Wells Museum and Art Gallery. Unfortunately I could not attend but it looks great! It includes work by Sarah Salway, my lovely friend and 'Pillowbook' collaborator - and you can find out more about this project on their website Well worth a visit!!




Happy Christmas!

Dorton House Exhibition


I have been invited to exhibit at Dorton House in Seal near Sevenoaks for the Royal London Institute for the Blind.

It is a spectacular setting and house and a very worthy cause - it's open Saturday and Sunday from 11 until 5.




new exhibitions


I just found out I have had my work selected for the Canterbury Art Fair/Kent Art Space Launch exhibition at Creek Creative Studios in Faversham. More details to follow...

Also I have some work in a fund-raising exhibition '20 x 20' at the Montreal Contemporary Centre of Textiles in Montreal, Canada - my home town!! It is a piece based on 'Expo 67' - the world fair, and in four 20 x 20 cm sections. The pieces will be auctioned off in December:



'Brushes' on iPad


After a 'tip-off' from a friend, I saw some amazing David Hockney drawings done on his iPad in this month's 'Vanity Fair' magazine and was tempted to give it a try... it is quite addictive and a bit like Photoshop with finger painting. I have just manipulated an existing image whereas I think DH has used it like a proper paintbrush. Exciting possibilities nonetheless!



Tonbridge Open Art Exhibition - Tunnel Gallery at Tonbridge School


I submitted three pieces for this juried exhibition, part of the Tonbridge Festival, yesterday. In the early afternoon I found out that I had won the prize - for 'Bay Tree and Shoes'. It is a sculpture called 'Blue Rock' by Guy Portelli, in memory of his friend Jennifer Brunger. It is a really good exhibition of mixed media work from amateurs and professional artists and a portion of the sales go to Hospice in the Weald. It is on until 24th October.





Last Chance to see!!


Our joint exhibition 'Natural Histories' has had a really good turnout at Maidstone Library Gallery, and some great feedback and comments in the visitor's book. It comes down on Saturday so do try to see it if you can! One of the visitors is a curator in Medway and has written the following to Cas:

It was a great pleasure to visit your exhibition and see the wonderful new work. I was most impressed by the way you and Anne have been able to co-curate such a balanced show so that no one piece over-powers another. Each piece complements the next one while providing a rare opportunity for comparison between different textile working techniques and approaches to the subject matter. The mix of personal and collaborative pieces provided continuous trail of surprises and the flow of delightful colours, different textures and scale revealed hidden stories behind the surface. It was interesting to try to identify your shared interests and influences and investigate differences between the works. As always I was blown away by the delicate nature and beauty of your work.





A Thousand Words


I have made a small unframed piece for an art installation in Romney Marsh - 'A Thousand Words', conceived and curated by Paula MacArthur. I chose the word 'bird' - not surprisingly!

















You can see details of the installation here


Diocesan presentation to Pope Benedict XVI


Yesterday I had the honour of attending the Diocesan Presentation to the Pope at his visit to St. Peter's Home in Vauxhall. He was presented with the framed embroidery (picture below) on his arrival at the home, after meeting the local MP and mayor of Lambeth. It was an amazing experience and very pleasing to have some lovely remarks on the work from the staff and members of the public who also attended. The Archdiocese of Southwark has a good photo and write up of the work. See for details.
















The visit was recorded on Sky News and BBC News Channel (photo below):



















Brighton and Maidstone


I have two exhibitions on at the moment. One is the continuation of the 'Natural Histories' exhibition at Maidstone Library Gallery. It is a lovely large space with lots of light and our joint work looks great. There are three collaborative pieces 'Seed Bird Map', 'Domestic Mapping' and 'Garden Paths'. There is a 'meet the artist' session on Saturday 25th September from 2-4pm. Cas and I look forward to seeing you there!










The other exhibition is in Brighton at 'Gallery 100' - 100 Queens Road. It is a smaller but equally well-lit display space. There are works by four textile artists and one ceramicist. My installation piece 'Sewing Machine Instructions' is in the front display window:
















Exhibition in Brighton


The card for my group exhibition in Brighton features 'Bay Tree and Shoes' and opens tomorrow - the private view is September 11 as below:




I have been working in preparation for three up coming exhibitions - been making some brooches for them using old thread spools (card ones!). They have lovely patterns and I've glued them together to make backgrounds for 'threadbeetle' brooches (below). Definitely have a vintage feel about them:






New 'Old' Machine...


Am taking advantage of the summer break to do lots of work and see family and friends.

I was delighted to find this old Bernina from c. 1970 - still going strong and sturdy as ever.

It came with its original case and instruction booklet...



A holiday snap!


We escaped to Ireland last week for a lovely break! The weather was mixed as you would expect but it was great to be away from email and general busyness... Some amazing scenery and friendly people - delicious food and lots of crows!!!



'Threads at Art Loco'























I have been invited to exhibit at this lovely little gallery in Ticehurst, in their Textiles exhibition 'Threads' which opens Wednesday...






SEOS is open!


'Shed Gallery' at South East Open Studios is open ! With a steady stream of visitors it has been a good opening weekend. We are open 12, 13, 15, 19 and 20 June 11am - 6 pm. for details of 'Shed Gallery',Tunbridge Wells.


'pillowbook' postcards


Are available at SEOS! Look at 'Collaborations' page for details or They are true to the colours and text of the originals and it is great to see the progression of the collaborative writing and visual project.


'Natural Histories' Tour continues


The second leg of the 'Natural Histories' exhibition tour opens this weekend at Artworks MK in Great Linford, near Milton Keynes. Our new joint collaborative piece 'Domestic Mapping' looks great and the rough edged stone walls enhance the fragility of the work. We will be attending a 'Meet the Artist' session on Sunday 20th June from 1-3pm. The gallery's poster for the exhibition is below and their website is




Gallery in the Glasshouse


I have some work in this lovely exhibition, organised by silversmith Louisa Crispin


Moody Blues
Pretty in Pink
Come and see my etchings
Gallery in the Glasshouse

                    Gallery in the Glasshouse


I am pleased to announce that the new owners of the Walled Nursery, Emma and Monty Davies are keen to continue the Gallery in the Glasshouse Exhibition, now entering its 3rd year.

This year it will take place on Satuday 29th and Sunday 30th May from 10am to 4pm.

             * These pictures are representative of the artists taking part in the exhibition and may not be the items actually on sale. *

A collection of art and craft will be on sale alongside the plants in the beautifully restored glasshouses of the old Walled Garden.

The main victorian glasshouse will be the venue for the art painted by local artists. A selection of craft stalls will be set out on the lawn alongside the yummy tea and cakes supplied in aid of Hospice in the Weald.

Car parking courtesy of St Ronan's School.

Directions: From Hawkhurst, travelling on Rye Road towards Sandhurst, turn left into Water Lane signposted to St Ronan's School. After half a mile turn right into St Ronan's School. If you wish to avoid Hawkhurst centre, access is also available from the other end of Water Lane near Hartley, Cranbook. Postcode TN18 5DH





Southwark Diocese Commission


I have been working on designs for a commission for Southwark Diocese. It is for a hanging representing the character and history of the Diocese and it will be presented to the Pope on his visit to England in September. I have been looking at the architecture of the Cathedral in Southwark - it was designed by Pugin originally and I may incorporate some of his designs in the piece. I have been producing some initial collages to see how to incorporate all the elements required into the work - while retaining the character of my more heavily embroidered pieces.











I will update my progress on this under 'Commissions'.




South East Open Studios


South East Open Studios starts up again a few weeks' time. I am hosting it for the fifth consectutive year. Every year brings new visitors and really good feedback.  This is the postcard for the event and further details can be found on the SEOS website - . Please visit us if you are in the area...




East Sussex Contemporary Art Fair

Escaf opened last night - really good turnout and some excellent work. Many thanks to Paula for all her hard work - a photo of my work below - it's on until Sunday afternoon.













East Sussex Contemporary Art Fair

The School Creative Centre (Freda Gardham School)

New Road, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7LS

Preview Friday 23 April 6-9pm

Fairtrade refreshments

Bloco Feu Carnival performance at 6.30pm

(weather permitting)

Art fair opening hours

Saturday 24 April! 10am - 5pm

Sunday 25 April! 10am - 4pm

Admission free Fairtrade café Ample free parking

Contemporary fine art, design and craft by artists from

across the country offering something to suit

everyone's style and pocket.

Online catalogue and visitor information at

Fundraising for Rye College's

Ghana Carnival Cultural Exchange

Thank you to our generous supporters

Jewellery Ceramics Painting Prints Textiles Drawing

Lighting Stained Glass Sculpture Photography

East Sussex Contemporary Art Fair and

Rye College are proud to support Fairtrade


West Dean and 'Quilts' exhibition


Recently returned from a very enjoyable and useful course for work at West Dean College - 'Collage and Print' with Dale Devereux Barker. We leant how to combine collage with lino printing and I took a design from a recent commission that I'm working on about Brighton:















I made a three colour lino print with added collage pieces - I like the way they relate but are quite different as well. As always met some lovely people and great food and surroundings.















Was given 'Quilt While You're Ahead' blog as a recommendation - it is a fun and good-looking one - have a look! Speaking of quilts - went to see the 'Quilts' exhibition at the V and A today with friends - some amazing examples - incredble amounts of hard work went into some of the early ones especially and they still look fresh today...







London Exhibition


I am exhibiting some recent work at solicitors DMH Stallard in Fetter Lane in London. It is displayed in a lovely light and contemporary interior. The work can be viewed by appointment - contact me for details:


East Sussex Contemporary Art Fair


I have had some work selected for this fair which is in Rye in April - details of the work can be found on  under 'Textiles'

I will post more details on the blog closer to the time...


Charity Art Auction



                            SATURDAY 6 MARCH 2010

@ St. Peter's Methodist Church in Canterbury

Doors open: 12:00 noon        Auction starts: 3:00 pm


Dear Artists & Friends,

I am writing to ask for your help in raising funds towards the Haitian Earthquake relief efforts, by way of a Charity Art Auction. Working in cooperation with Oxfam, the auction will be held on the 6th of March at 3:00 PM in St. Peter's Methodist Church in Canterbury. All proceeds will go 100% to the Haitian relief efforts.

 Please bear in mind that, as there are no storage nor delivery services available at the church, the winning bidders must take the art away on the day.  Thank you.



Article in 'Embroidery' magazine


There's a review of  my touring exhibition 'Natural Histories' with Cas Holmes in the March 2010 edition of 'Embroidery Magazine':



March 2010 issue

work by Cas Holmes
Cas Holmes

work by Su Blackwell
Su Blackwell

Lancashire Post dress

Natural Histories
Anne Kelly & Cas Holmes

All the Things I Love...
Su Blackwell, Edinburgh

The Art of Fabulous Fabrics

work by Dionne Swift
Dionne Swift

work by Althea McNish
Althea McNish

work by Rebecca Earley
Rebecca Earley

New Grounds
Dionne Swift (touring)

Shirley Craven &
Hull Traders

Revolutionary Post War
Fabrics and Furniture

Taking Time
Craft and the Slow
Revolution (touring)


'Mrs. Delany & Her Circle'


I was given this book for Christmas which I've really enjoyed reading and studying - and was delighted and surprised to discover that an exhibition of the same name is on at the John Soane Museum in Lincoln's Inns Fields in London. for further details.












It is a small but lovely collection of work by this group of 18th century artists - interested in, as the book says 'natural science, fashion and design'. The embroideries, of flowers, plants and birds are fresh and colourful - in amazing detail. Definitely worth a visit - it's on until May.





Craft Hope for Haiti


Craft Hope

crafthope's Shop Announcement

*** The Craft Hope shop will be on hiatus beginning February 8 while we move to a shop solution that is more sustainable for us. Please stay tuned at for an announcement of changes.***

All proceeds of the Craft Hope Etsy shop will benefit Doctors Without Borders in Haiti. All items have been generously donated by the crafting community.

A great charity and well worth keeping an eye on! They have already raised over £ 20,000.


King's Hill Art


I've been asked to exhibit work at King's Hill, with the King's Hill Art and Art in Business partnership. Three hanging pieces - 'Birds of a Feather', 'Whole Moth Tablecloth' and 'Regent's Park Weeds' are on display for thirteen weeks at 30 Tower View. They are framed by a lovely wooden window and fit into the edge of the space well.



Happy New Year!


Have been looking at crows lately - they are amazing to watch - this one is in St. James' Park in London. Happy New Year and best wishes to all for 2010!!



Interview questions


Recently I was asked to complete an online 'interview' with an Art History student from the University of Kent. The questions she asked were good, as follows:

1)Has your upbringing and training had any effect on your work? If so, how?

My training as a fine artist has had an influence on my work and my upbringing in Canada has influenced my choice of subject matter.

2)What is it that first made you want to study art?

I was always interested in art and design from an early age and visited galleries and museums in Canada and abroad as a child.

3)What are the most fundamental changes you have seen in your art throughout your career?

I have moved from working primarily in the field of fine art to producing more mixed media and primarily textile-based work.

4)What do you feel has been your biggest achievement so far and why? And what has been your proudest moment?

I was delighted to be offered a touring exhibition with Cas Holmes in and around the South-East. I was very proud to have work exhibited at the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto.

5)Which media do you most enjoy working with, and why? have any of the mediums you have used in your work posed any difficulties or challenges which you have had to overcome?

I really enjoy working with layers of fabric and binding them together with stitch to produce a new fabric. This work is difficult to present and it has been challenging finding the right kind of framing to present it well, but luckily I have a great framer in Sussex.

6)What is the most important thing you would like your students to learn from you? Have they helped your work to develop in any way?

The most important thing is for them to find their own strengths through hard work(!) and experimentation. They challenge and inspire me on a daily basis, through their ideas and comments.

7)Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I'm inspired by a diverse range of objects and experiences and the fabrics themselves. The same motifs and imagery have inspired me throughout my career, but I am constantly influenced by natural forms and man-made interventions upon them, in the environment.

8)Are the any artists, movements or theories in particular that have inspired you? If so, how?

Recently I have been looking at the work of various textile artists including Alice Kettle and I loved Anselm Kiefer's work at White Cube in London.

9)Do you find that you are ever influenced in what you choose to create by todays audiences - for example, is the need to sell ever a deciding factor in what you choose to create?

Fortunately I find that people are drawn to different aspects of my work and often 'fall in love' with a particular piece. At Open Studios last year, there were three people interested in the same piece - sometimes this leads to a commission.

 10)Which work or project have you most enjoyed working on, and why?

I have really enjoyed my collaborations with Cas Holmes, Sarah Salway and Jenifer Newson. It is great working with other artists and getting feedback from them.

11)Do you approach works in different ways depending on their scale? and how much of a role would you say form and colour play in your work and why?

I am often inspired by a piece of vintage textiles that dictates the size and scale of my work.

12)What messages do you hope to convey through your works?

My works are narrative and speak to viewers on different levels, they can be nostalgic or decorative with a history. By using recycled and vintage fabrics, this creates a patina or atmosphere that helps this process.

13)Do you hope viewers will share in your personal vision, or do you prefer your works to be fully open to interpretation?

Viewers may always interpret my pieces in their own way but they do seem to 'get' the essence of their meaning.

14)What are your aims and plans for the future of your art practice?

I am continuing my collaborations and exhibitions as part of them. I enjoy exhibiting locally and would like to expand on this.

15)Finally, if you could sum up your work in just one sentence, what would you say?

Mixed media textiles depicting the natural and man-made aspects of surroundings and experience - 'little worlds'.





Anish Kapoor


Recently visited Chicago where I saw Anish Kapoor's amazing 'Cloud Gate' which dominates the city's Millenium Park













Back in London, there is a fantastic exhibition of his work at the Royal Academy.




Anish Kapoor at Royal Academy in London








Canterbury Art Fair


I have some work selected again this year for the Canterbury Art Fair - it takes place in the town centre in two commercial venues. My work is on display at the former Bay Trading shop in the Marlowe Arcade.

'Indian Doll's Clothing - triptych' 2009



'Natural Histories' opens!


  • My joint collaborative project 'Resonant Textiles ' with Cas Holmes, has its first outing with the opening  of 'Natural Histories' at Farnham Maltings. We have 'taken over' the bar/box office space,'the Riverside cafe and the East Wing Gallery. It's up until the 24th and forms part of the 'Festival of Craft' exhibition next weekend. See website for more details and directions. We got a mention in the West Dean tutors listings and a listing on the 'Embroidery' magazine website under exhibitions opening in October. Cas has also written about the collaboration on the Artists Newsletter's  (a-n) blog.
  • Here are some photos from the East Wing gallery:



























'Natural Histories' at Farnham Maltings


Cas and I have been preparing work for the first venue in our joint touring exhibition, containing individual pieces and a new joint piece which you can see on the poster below:




Natural Histories'            Cas Holmes & Anne Kelly

Touring exhibition - 'Resonant Textiles' collaboration

Farnham Maltings - 12-26 October

Bridge Square, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7QR

T: 01252 718001

      East Wing Gallery and Forum, Cafe Walls, Cabinets




Seed Bird Map  2009       Cas Holmes and Anne Kelly         mixed media textile

















Trip to Berlin


Just got back from a visit to Berlin - a most amazing mix of old and new. An inspiring work by Anselm Kiefer at the Hamburger Banhof Gallery 'Lilith am Roten Meer'


A piece of street art on a portion of the old wall:













And a rabbit on a country walk:





New work


New work/Book forms

I have recently completed some new work for Artworks MK in Milton Keynes. It will be on exhibit and for sale in their craft display area. I'm also preparing work for my touring exhibition with Cas Holmes 'Natural Histories', which begins in Farnham Maltings in October.


'Garden and Cosmos' at the British Museum


Went to see this exhibition yesterday with friends - absolutely stunning work! The detail and colour is incredible and the paintings are incredibly vibrant - some of them 300 years on!!


Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur

28 May - 23 August 2009  /  Room 35  /  £8, Members free

A rare chance to see paintings in the royal collection of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur

The exhibition will feature a loan of 56 paintings from India, none of which have been displayed before in Europe. It is a fantastic opportunity to experience the unique art tradition that flourished in the royal courts between the 17th and 19th centuries.



Liberty Gallery at Hazlitt Art Gallery/Craft Cases, Maidstone


I have some work at the Craft Cases outside the Graham Clarke Gallery in Maidstone - small collages and brooches. This is supported by the Liberty Gallery. A full description of the display can be found on



'Shed Gallery' is open!


The 'Shed Gallery' - South East Open Studios - opened Friday evening. The show looks great and combines 'gallery pieces' with more 'domestic' work as well. The work all fits together well and includes textiles, painting, print and ceramics. Do come and have a look - we're open today until six and the next two weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) from 11am to 6pm. Directions are on the SEOS website




British Museum 'Indian Garden'


There is a lovely Indian Garden in the forecourt of the British Museum to accompany the Indian Painting exhibition The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur: Garden and Cosmos. It's on from 28 May

The garden has some amazing plants including blue Himalayan poppies;









There are also some lovely tiles inside - including this Chinese dragon:






'Resonant Textiles' update


I am continuing to work with Cas Holmes on our joint project. We get together monthly to generate new work for our joint exhibition in October and more importantly - for mutual support and idea-swapping! If we miss a session, we really feel it. She is including some of my work in her forthcoming book for Batsford on recycled textiles and exhibiting in the SEOS 'Shed Gallery' - more about that soon!

Some work from a recent session.



Visit to Oxford


Went to the recently refurbished Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford recently. They have kept the character of the old building and made it more accessible. They have an inspirational ethnographic collection and artefacts from all over the world. It is adjacent to the Oxford Museum of Natural History on Parks Road. Their website . This is a photo of the building's amazing ceiling:



Gallery in the Glasshouse - 30/31 May


I have some work in this exhibition - refreshments are sold in aid of Hospice in the Weald.


The Walled Nursery, Hawkhurst, Kent

Open: 10am to 4pm

A collection of local art and craft will be on sale alongside the plants in the beautifully restored glasshouses of the old walled garden




A photo of my work in situ:












'Traces' - Cas Holmes exhibition


Cas' exhibition 'Traces' opened yesterday at Riverhouse Gallery, Walton on Thames The exhibition contains much of her work from a recent visit to India and it is on until 10th May - well worth a look!




My Canadian Trip


I am currently on a visit to Canada - visiting family and friends in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. In Toronto, I dropped some new work off at the Textile Museum of Canada .  They have an excellent range of exhibitions. I also went to the new Frank Gehry designed Art Gallery of Ontario, - a strong collection of Canadian and International artists.

I saw this amazing bird sculpture in silhouette form at the Eaton Centre - now on to Ottawa!

I'm in Ottawa and have been working on a mood board and images for a commissioned piece 'Garden Picture' - here is a scan (to follow!) of the first design - you can see the influence of the Eaton Centre photo...

Now I am in Montreal, where I went to the Museum of Fine Arts - has this great Jim Dine sculpture outside.
Farewell to Canada for now - back to the UK tomorrow.



Ingoldsby Gallery


I have some work at a new gallery in Margate. Ingoldsby Gallery, is a lovely new space right in the heart of the old town. This is from their website:




Exhibition and Events

  • Just Because It's Spring


    Birds are singing, flowers are budding and the gallery is transformed for our third exhibition.  Margate's exciting new commercial gallery specialises in Contemporary Fine Art and Crafts.

    Artists featured in our Spring exhibition include:

    * Jill Perry * Carol Gay * Anne Kelly * Marina Elphick *
    * Barry Elphick * Caroline Hoy * Katherine McTurk *




Anne Kelly

Anne's 'layered embroideries' are made of many types of fabric, sewn together by hand and machine. These are then cut through and sewn over with hand and machine stitching.  She uses recycled fabrics, lace, string, tapestry and vintage images to create 'small worlds'. Travel, memory and her local environment combines to influence her choice of subject matter.

She trained as a fine artist and her approach to work uses many of the same conventions. By interpreting this in fabric, the work becomes approachable and familiar, although often with an unexpected twist. Many pieces are box framed in light oak and work well in both traditional and contemporary interiors.

During 2009, she is collaborating with two artists and a writer to produce work using a range of themes, based on the natural world. She is continuing to exhibit new work and samples of these collaborations. 

Anne is happy to accept and design commissioned work through the Ingoldsby Gallery.



'Reflect Forward' Alison Milner Ceramic and Print Artist


Went to a very interesting opening at Craft Central in Clerkenwell, last week to see new work by Alison Milner. She was at college with Jenifer Newson, who I am collaborating with. Alison's new work is 'inspired by the thousands of scientific and medical items in the Wellcome Trust's Collection.' Her ceramic artworks 'explore the relationship between medicine and belief'.

Alison trained at the Royal College and also produces printed furniture as well as a variety of ceramic work. Her work is  influenced by 1950's design and the sea- Alison lives on the South Coast.

The exhibition is on until 21st March and is well worth a visit!












'8 pills' by Alison Milner


Welcome to SHED Gallery


A preview of this summer's SEOS exhibition - from the SEOS website!

South East Open Studios

work by Shed Gallery

SHED, composite image 10 x 10cm

Anne Kelly
I produce mixed media textiles based on natural forms and box framed in oak. They work well in a variety of settings.
CAS Holmes
Mixed media paper and textiles - focus on the environment. Commissions undertaken reflecting natural and built environment.
Lucy Willsher
A textile artist who uses a variety of techniques and mixed media to produce pieces that are inspired by travel experiences and past memories.
Rachel Rayner
Produces a variety of ceramics work through exploration of different hand building techniques applied.
Jenifer Newson
My work includes prints, collage and papier maché and explores how the same shapes, structures and patterns recur in nature.
Karl Simmons
My work is inspired by nature using watercolour and chalk pastels.





Lots of snow this week - some very inspirational sights - two brown/black horses againsta snowy hill - may well pop up somewhere! This is the view from outside my studio window:






Happy New Year!


My first exhibition in 2009 is as part of a group show 'All you need is...' at the Garret Gallery in Tenterden. 

The exhibition opens on Saturday 17th from 6-8 pm. I've included some small pieces from my new 'Owl Picture' series:























Walking in Mote Park


Happy Christmas! I went for a lovely walk today with my friend Cas today in Mote Park - some inspirational trees and sights..













And some birds!













See you in 2009!




'Natural History' Exhibition is open!


My 'Natural History' exhibition opened yesterday in Farnham - I am thrilled to be exhibiting with three talented people ( see below ). Thanks also to Steph Barklam , the curator at the Maltings. The exhibition is on until 24th November but do check opening times on if you are planning to visit.

My 'British Birds' piece, a collaboration with Cas Holmes (from her blog)






Sunday, 2 November 2008

Natural History

British Birds by Anne Kelly and Moon Daisies by Cas Holmes.

I am guest artist in an exhibition, Natural History, by Anne Kelly. Check out her exhibition at Farnham Maltings. This is the continuance of our collaboration. We will both be exhibiting at Farnham in the Autumn of 2009 We are creating new works for a touring exhibition scheduled to start in 2009. As part of the process of developing new work, we have been running our own studio workshops to exchange ideas, motivate each other, eat nice food and generally find time to be creative. So far we have printed, torn, burnt and stitched in the sessions, as well as sketching and painting outdoors, at each other's home and further afield! We believe the process of making begins with looking and we both share a passion for re-using found materials. We collect, save and exchange ephemera as part of the resourcing process and find these often act as catalysts for new ideas/processes - a textile 'secret santa'.. The exchanges reflect the different nature of our work but share a common resonance. An interest in the natural and built environment, the valuing of things often discarded and the echoes they have of a past life are embedded in the work.

'Natural History'
Recent textile work and collaborations by Anne Kelly
Farnham Maltings
Bridge Square
Farnham, Surrey GU9 7QR
31 October - 30 November 2008






- alongside her 'Moon Daisies' looked great:






















I was also pleased to see Jenifer Newson's lovely collages based on red blood cells

 -'Red Cell Shapes' hanging in the cafe window:






































 The 'Pillowbook' project with Sarah Salway (below) looked great as well



- all at jaunty angles and with some interesting comments added already!




'Pillowbook Project'


Sarah Salway and I have been working on an exciting project over the past few months - she has described it really well in her writing journal/blog (below). We are exhibiting it at my show in Farnham; 'Natural History', which opens on the 31st October. We'd really like feedback so do let us know what you think...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What have you got in that shopping trolley???

Well, will you look at this. It's an exhibition on wheels! Another use for a shopping trolley.

Here are some of the pieces Anne Kelly and I have been working on. They're based on the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon.

There are eleven at the moment, but we're planning more.

Here's the official blurb about the project:

The Pillow Book Project - Anne Kelly and Sarah Salway

What is The Pillow Book?

Written in the eleventh century by a Japanese Court gentlewoman, Sei Shonagon, The Pillow Book* is a scrapbook of lists, poems and reflections. Sei Shonagon's observations range from the funny - (in a section, Things that Create the Appearance of Deep Emotion, she puts simply, "Plucking your eyebrows") - to the poignant - (in Rare Things, we find, "A son-in-law who's praised by his wife's father. Likewise, a wife who's loved by her mother-in-law.") There are sections on Japanese Court Dress, lists of flowering plants, birds, mountain ranges. All of which add up to form a picture of what a certain section of Japanese life was like in the Heian period.

Why we liked it

Although the form is fragmentary, it's easy to gain an idea of Sei Shonagon's character through her intensely personal, and sometimes dogmatic, choices. We found ourselves thinking what we might put under certain of her sections - what makes us alarmed, or close our eyes with happiness, for instance? This became a challenge to write our own lists for today. Although our lives couldn't be more different from Sei Shonagon's, doing this project made us pause a little and look, with curiosity, both within and without, at what's important. It was a reminder how effectively the 'small' can be used to tell the bigger picture. The use of fragments also fitted in with the magpie tendencies we both have in our creative process.

How we did it

To begin with, we sat together and worked out which section headings appealed to us. Then Sarah made lists and lists of what she felt suited each section - stories, images, thoughts, sometimes just words. Meanwhile, Anne worked on what different background colours she wanted to use. Then we came together again. Sarah cut and changed her words, and Anne found images, shapes and textures that fitted both literally and metaphorically with the emotion and atmosphere we decided together that we wanted to create.

Now what?

Just as we wrote on from Sei Shonagon's orginal lists, we don't believe our own Pillow Book will ever be finished. So we'd like to invite you now to add your own ideas. Just what does The Eight Month summon up for you, for example, or what things do you feel should be plump? Please fill in a card so we can incorporate some of your thoughts. Or give us a whole new section. We look forward to the challenge!

(* The Pillow Book, Sei Shonagon, (translated by Meredith McKinney), Penguin Classics)



Textile Museum of Canada


For those Canadians of you out there - I am exhibiting some work in the Museum Shop at the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto. The museum's website is There are some 'Vintage Beetle' pieces and two layered embroideries:


Vintage Beetle












Red Moth




'Natural History' Exhibition


The third piece being exhibited at Canterbury (see previous post) is called 'Woodland Walks' and I have used it for the card and poster for my solo exhibition at Farnham Maltings in Farnham, Surrey. I am really excited about it as I am also showing two collaborations that I have been working on this year. Sarah Salway and I have been working on an illustrated text based on 'The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon' - a modern interpretation. Sarah's website is  I am also exhibiting a piece that I have been working on in my sessions with Cas Holmes (see 'Resonant Textiles' post below). Her website is It has been a great privilege to work with these two superb artists this year. I'll keep you updated and post some pictures from the show when it is hung.




                                                                                               'Woodland Walks' 2008, mixed media textile





























'Natural History'

           Recent textile work and collaborations by Anne Kelly


   Farnham Maltings

   Bridge Square

   Farnham, Surrey GU9 7QR

   31 October - 30 November

 Private View: 31 October

   6 - 8 pm










Canterbury Art Fair 6-24th October 2008


I was recently invited to enter some work for a juried exhibition in Canterbury. I will be exhibiting the following two pieces.














Birds, Shells and Weeds





















Birds, Sunflowers and Weeds










The exhibition will be held at the University for the Creative Arts, New Dover Road, Canterbury

It is open Monday-Friday 10-5 and Saturday 12-5

Hope you can come and have a look!


Article on 'Vintage Textiles'


I have been asked to write an essay on 'Vintage Textiles':

                                                           Vintage Textiles


 'Vintage Textiles' is  a phrase used to describe many kinds of old or worn fabric and textile products. These textiles may be in various states of preservation or decay and include printed, stitched and constructed varieties. They can be found in a variety of locations - including second hand shops and markets. Most people will have some element of 'vintage' in their homes. The collection of the more intricate and historical types of these fabrics has long been desirable, but as more textiles become mass produced, the value of any hand made work has increased. They are inspiring because of their tactile, atmospheric and versatile qualities.


Vintage textiles can be used in a variety of ways, but also for a range of purposes. They can be used for sewing - to incorporate into an existing piece or stitched on; they can be exposed - literally cut away from backgrounds and other textures as a focal point, and they can also be embellished for this purpose. They can dictate and alter the mood or feel of a piece by their placement and use. Equally their manipulation can add a huge amount to the depth and complexity of any size of work.


The textile artist Anne Kelly (, has always mixed vintage textiles into her work. She started scouring jumble sales and charity shops for fabric and vintage labels to incorporate into her patchwork textiles while still at school. She now uses them as an integral part of her 'layered embroideries'. Vintage textiles give her work an immediate patina and authority. They form the background and the focal point for aspects of her narrative driven work. These textile fragments inform and sometimes decide the subject and title of her work.


Anne is particularly interested in the commonplace and everyday aspect of these textiles and uses them with originality to create a seamless but completely changed new fabric. She chooses old tablecloths, samplers, printed canvas that has been stitched and any fragment of embroidery that may fit in. She has also used amongst other items - dolls' clothing, second hand garments and headwear as backgrounds or focal points in her work. These seemingly incongruous and random items are absorbed into the final piece using heavy stitching. They are then overstitched with hand and machine embroidery. The action of sewing combines the layers into a unique and sculptural textile.


The everyday and historical importance of the less sophisticated vintage textile can not be overstated. They represent many generations of hand work by makers - mainly women, who embellished the textiles found in their immediate surroundings and environment. The chance to use these in an new and more artistic piece celebrates and pays tribute to these women's past efforts and takes them out of the purely domestic sphere. The imagery used in these textiles is often naive and simplified, which lends them to being incorporated into a more complex piece. The texture of these pieces is often worn and softer than new work and this also makes them easily added to a composite piece. They can also be dyed and printed and thus altered before they are sewn in.


Imagery plays a key part in vintage textiles and often the mere colour range of a piece can evoke a unique time and place or be nostalgic for the viewer. Some imagery can reflect and reinforce meaning in newer pieces of work. Anne Kelly has used vintage buttons and the cards that they were manufactured on to reinforce areas of interest in her work - almost as punctuation. Ribbons, lace, string and cord are also materials that create boundaries or unite disparate elements of her work. Vintage images from printed matter can be altered and incorporated as 'found elements' - adding to the complexity and meaning of work.


A useful method of sorting and collecting textiles suitable for working with is to arrange them by colour - similar to choosing threads for sewing. This enables the textile artist to visualise the possible combinations of colour and texture before beginning to stitch. It is also a useful method to work in smaller sections before assembling them into larger pieces. Pinning and displaying these initial choices onto a white background enables the artist to isolate and amend areas which may be of interest or show potential.


As we have seen previously, almost any vintage fabric or textile product can be used for sewing but some fabrics have more of a presence than others! Metallic or lustre fabrics can be layered into work to create shine and a glinting surprise in the work. The jewel - like quality of these fabrics make them ideal for further manipulation and often these can be the least expensive or valued pieces found. Layering and machine stitching helps to expose these qualities. Hand stitching with vintage textiles is an interesting and natural extension of their use in newer work. The quality of hand embellishment reflects the existing stitch and enhances it further. Moreover, adding new imagery and motifs with stitching creates an exciting and original juxtaposition. The new stitched work can bring attention to parts of printed or embellished work and again can be adapted as the artist wishes.


Visual artists have always been inspired by and used found materials to create original statements. Using vintage textiles is a way of textile artists incorporating the same ethos into their work. Whether it is a piece that has been discarded, found, bought or haggled for, vintage textiles can enrich and enhance your practice.



'Shedworking' Piece


I was mentioned on the 'Shedworking' blog when I participated in the annual SEOS exhibition in June:

Monday, June 09, 2008

Anne Kelly - shedworker show

Shedworking textile artist Anne Kelly (pictured above in her garden office shed) is taking part in the South East Open Studios extravaganza. Below, some of her artwork in her shed. Anne Kelly's work comes recommended by Shedworking's literary editor Sarah Salway.


Resonant Textiles


I have been working with Cas on this project since the beginning of the year - we are both very excited about it!

This is taken from her blog:

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Resonant Textiles collaboration

My current and ongoing project is a collaboration with artist Anne Kelly (  We are creating new works for a touring exhibition scheduled to start in 2009. As part of the process of developing new work, we have been running our own studio workshops to exchange ideas, motivate each other, eat nice food and generally find time to be creative. 
So far we have printed, torn, burnt and stitched in the sessions, as well as sketching and painting outdoors, at each other's home and further afield! We believe the process of making begins with looking and we both share a passion for re-using found materials. We collect, save and exchange ephemera as part of the resourcing process and find these often act as catalysts for new ideas/processes - a textile 'secret santa'.
The images above show us at work over the last two days in our sixth workshop. The exchanges reflect the different nature of our work but share a common resonance. An interest in the natural and built environment, the valuing of things often discarded and the echoes they have of a past life are embedded in the work.
Keep following the post to see how things develop!


Taken from Sarah Salway's blog


 Anyway, moving swiftly on... this photograph is of the very talented Canadian textile artist, Anne Kelly who I'm lucky enough to be working together with on a top secret project this Summer.

She came round to show me her latest work, which I show to you...

Just look at this close up of the bug...

These pieces are all made of recycled materials, and most of them done by hand. The photographs don't do them justice as I can't tell you how beautiful they are in real life, and how lucky I feel to see the different stages and ways of thinking involved in creating them. Actually now I think of it, I'm going to ask Anne if I can take some pictures of her artists journal as she works out some of the thoughts behind the work we're doing together and compare them with my pages of words as I struggle with the same process. It's been interesting to me to see how different visual planning is - not quite as polarised as optimist and pessimist, but definitely another angle. It makes me realise how much I need to work out what I think through actually writing - lists, dialogues, poems, free association, freewriting, mind maps - it doesn't matter what form as long as the pen is moving and I'm using words. I wonder if I dare try a drawing? Or even - as Twyla Tharp suggests in her excellent book, The Creative Habit dance it out. The thought makes me freeze with self-consciousness in a very stupid English way, which probably suggests I need to give it a go.

(Oh, but look, I've managed to make Anne stand upright. That'll please her. I'm obviously - finally - becoming the boss of my computer. This is a happy day. I wonder if it will mean no more error messages and just cheery little 'Mission Accomplished' notices every time I try to do something different? Let us be optimistic. After all, things could hardly get worse ...)

What would you rescue?

One of the best writing exercises I do with students is to give them a random object - even a half-used bottle of bubble bath once - and they have to invent the character who would rescue this object above all others from their burning house, and why. It's amazing how the stories come tumbling out. Well, this is definitely something I'd rescue...

I just love looking at it - there's something so soothing about the colours, but also in the texture of the textiles, which is why it hangs just outside my bedroom. It's designed by Anne Kelly, and, because I know Anne, it's been fascinating to see how an artist develops her work through the years and also the influences - travel, family, life - that seem to form a dialogue between her and her work. This is, of course, the same with writing but it takes longer for books to come out, which means its harder to read the clues. And there's always the feeling that, by the end of the book, you aren't the same person who started out writing it. I'm not sure whether it's the same for artists, but I'm interested in that.

And because the picture above doesn't do Anne's work justice, here's something I nicked off her website.


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