Sew Simple with Barbara Burman, Claire Wellesley-Smith, Ekta Kaul and Vivienne Richmond
Sewing takes many forms, from the simple running stitch to elaborate embroideries of crewelwork and bargello. Even the words we use for these types of sewing differentiate their level of skill and complexity - to sew or to embroider - sewing as functional and embroidery as decorative. However, the beauty and significance of plainer forms of sewing are often overlooked. The association of plain, although descriptive, can demean its importance and the value that sewing has, and continues to have, in forms of making. For this monthly online talk, we bring together historians, textile makers and designers to explore the role of simple sewing from the nineteenth-century to today, centering around the significance of simple sewing in Britain but often reaching out to other parts of the world. Our speakers will draw our attention to the role of plain sewing in people’s lives, especially in those of women and girls. Encouraging us to consider simple sewing’s potential to create artistic textile works and the mindful act that these forms of sewing provide.
Barbara Burman is an historian, formerly based in the University of Southampton and the University of the Arts, London. Her research centres on dress and textiles in Britain. She is currently completing a book on the social and cultural significance of plain sewing past and present.
Claire Wellesley-Smith is a textile artist, writer and researcher based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK. Her projects are situated within arts, heritage, and community wellbeing. The ability of textile to transform and connect over time informs her studio, community, and research practices.
Ekta Kaul is a London based award winning textile artist known for her narrative maps that explore place, history and belonging through stitch. Her work is held in several permanent collections including at the Crafts Council, Liberty of London, the Gunnersbury Museum and those of private collectors.
Vivienne Richmond is a historian specialising in non-elite textiles, dress and needlework, and an advocate of visible mending. Formerly Head of History at Goldsmiths, University of London, her publications include Clothing the Poor in Nineteenth-Century England (Cambridge University Press, 2013/2016) and she curated the exhibition A Remedy for Rents: Darning Samplers and Other Needlework from the Whitelands College Collection (2016-17).
CLICK HERE for more information about the speakers and their presentations.