The Textile Study Group is a group of nationally and internationally recognised textile artists and tutors, well known for innovative and challenging approaches to art practice and contemporary teaching. It was first established in 1973 as a support group for embroidery teachers, under the inspiration and guidance of Constance Howard.
The objectives of the group are to cultivate and advance the practice of stitch and textile art through a broad spectrum of education – workshops, courses, lectures, publications, exhibitions – and to deliver expertise and excellence in all areas of textile art across all levels and ages of students.
The Textile Study Group retains a core membership of about 25 experienced textile teachers who value the importance of the development of their own individual art practice in their role as educators. Based throughout the UK, members meet for two weekends a year in a supportive but challenging environment to participate in workshops led by outside tutors from a wide range of disciplines.
Each member is required to undertake a critical 5-year review with an appointed mentor who adds their unique expertise to the process. These reviews are considered very valuable by members, it gives them an opportunity to reflect on both their practice and teaching over the past five years as well as discuss possible future developments. Currently Jane McKeating is the reviewer, bringing her experience and highly regarded academic reputation to the group. There is no doubt that the in-depth preparation, one-to-one discussion and feedback marks an important stage of self-development and awareness that continues and sustains long after the review. In the past we have been lucky to have benefitted from guidance from Constance Howard, Julia Caprara and Polly Binns.
The group has in the past made an annual, ‘Graduate of the Year Award’, selected at New Designers in London. The bursary targeted the next generation of textile teachers and artists: an educational investment for the future. The winning graduate was offered a place on a Textile Study Group residential weekend when there was an opportunity to work with current members and a specially selected tutor. We are now looking at other ways in which we can support either a student studying textiles, a recent graduate or even a teacher starting out in her career. More news to follow.
For many years, the group has delivered an annual residential Summer School when three selected members of the group offer an intensive course, this year located at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 1AU. This offers an opportunity for textile enthusiasts to be tutored by individual members in a supportive and challenging environment.