Textile Study Group

artists and tutors sharing ideas imagination and skills

Bobby Britnell

Artist statement

I have been involved in textiles for over 45 years, initially working in theatre costume and tailoring, before qualifying as a teacher. My working life is rich and varied. I am fortunate to have my own working studio where I can teach and create. My own teaching takes me all over the country and abroad. I work in schools, for community groups, for guilds and taught on the BA Stitched Textiles Degree programme for the Julia Caprara School of Stitched Textiles.

The beautiful Shropshire Countryside where I live and work, reflects much of my working practise and has engaged my interest for some time. Marks and surfaces underfoot and the process of making these marks on cloth, has played its part in recent works. I enjoy the entire process of designing and drawing and an important stage in formulating ideas, is to start by making bold drawn statements in charcoal and pencil. The move into fabric is also very important and I constantly seek out processes which I feel keep the vitality of the drawings in the translation into fabric and stitch. I enjoy changing the surface of fabrics through, dyeing, colouring, printing and at times continuing to employ the heavily machine-stitched surfaces that I enjoy using in my work.

More recent experimentation has involved me in working with Bark Cloth, from Southern Uganda. In January 2012 my husband and I set up a charity 'Hands up for Uganda' to help a community towards a more sustainable future. Visits out to Uganda bought me into contact with this amazing fabric. Regarded as the worlds first non-woven and recognised by Unesco as part of our worlds heritage, it has kept me occupied now for several years in exploring its potential for print, stitch and other surface design.

My first book was published in April 2013.

Find out more about my Moor Hall courses on my web site.

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