‘Thread Bearing Witness’ is an art project which will use textiles to learn from, show solidarity with, and raise funds for displaced people. Textile artist Alice Kettle will be working with researcher Tamsin Koumis. This multi-stranded project will involve many groups, individuals and activities from across the UK.
Alice Kettle is a contemporary textile / fibre artist based in the UK. She is currently Professor in Textile Arts at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University.
Her stitched works, many the size of huge figurative tapestries, exploit the textures and effects made possible through the harnessing of a mechanical process to intuitive and creative ends while in her large scale works she continues the tradition of monumental textiles.
Her work is represented in various public collections such as the Crafts Council London, the Whitworth in Manchester, the Museo Internationale delle Arti Applicate Oggi, Turin, Italy. Commissions include the National Library of Australia, the Scottish High Court in Edinburgh, Gloucester and Winchester Cathedrals and the School of Music & Drama at Manchester University. She’s recently completed a major commission for Lloyds Register Global Technology Centre at Southampton University.
“Alice Kettle is a contemporary textile/fibre artist based in the UK. She has established a unique area of practice by her use of a craft medium, consistently and on an unparalleled scale. The scale of her work belies their component parts: individual tiny stitches, which combine to form great swathes of colour, painterly backgrounds incorporating rich hues and metallic sheen.” Sara Roberts
See Alice’s website here.
Alice’s has been compelled to get involved with the movement to support refugees and asylum seekers partly in response to the work of her daughter, Tamsin (see below).
Jenna C. Ashton is a researcher, writer, curator and artist working in the areas of heritage, archives, visual culture and the arts. She is the editor of two volume international publication “Feminism and Museums: Intervention, Disruption and Change” (MuseumsEtc, Nov 2017 & Jan 2018).
She specializes in women’s cultural heritage, spatial agency and activism, and participatory practices – intersecting with disciplines of art history, sociology, health, and geography. Her work is concerned with developing and evidencing methodologies of inclusive representation and heritage participation which support policy advocacy and social change for women and girls internationally.
Jenna is Creative Director and Founder of Digital Women’s Archive North [DWAN], an arts and heritage organisation supporting women and girls to identify, collect, disseminate and celebrate their cultural heritage through creative and digital interventions.
Other roles include Global Cultural Fellow, Institute for International Cultural Relations, Edinburgh University; Honorary Research Fellow, Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester; Curatorial Advisor and Research Partner on women’s histories, art and activism at the National Trust, 2017-19.
Tamsin Koumis has volunteered with migrants and refugees for the past five years, in the UK and abroad. She is Co-Founder of Dunkirk Legal Support Team, a human rights project facilitating access to legal information, advice and representation in Dunkirk Refugee Camp. Tamsin is now shifting her attention towards the inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers in the arts, through Thread Bearing Witness.
We have a support and help from various people. In particular:
Patrizia Costantin : curator
Miriam Jones: freelance writer and editor working mainly in the charity sector
Miesje Chaffer : designer/maker
Alex Jordan: designer/maker
Kelly Quinzel : artist/maker
Suzanne Partridge: Paper People Beauty : artist