Candida Stevens, guest curator for the 2020 edition of London Art Fair’s Platform, Threading Forms, presents one of the UK’s leading textile artists, Alice Kettle. We are delighted to present a new body of work by Alice Kettle, Within Each Other, Portraits of Ourselves.

This series of portraits builds on Alice Kettle’s Thread Bearing Witness project shown at The Whitworth, Manchester in 2018. Working with communities and individuals Alice continues to collaborate with expert stitchers from around the world. Individuals from Syria, Iran, Pakistan and Uganda contribute to the hand stitching found on these drawn portraits by Alice. She wishes to acknowledge the importance of their input. A more detailed list crediting these contributions is available.

This new series of portraits can be seen in the context of an opening out of Alice’s practice to engage more emphatically through stitch with others, as a means of representing the collective and individual selves. This reflects the ability of stitch to intersect across divided spaces and connect with others through a common language of making.

The works focus on memory and experience, whilst examining the notions of identity, authorship and of stitch as a medium of integration across borders and technologies. In her role as Professor at Manchester School of Art, Alice Kettle has researched the meeting place of traditional analogue stitching skills and digitised contemporary methodologies. Her roots as a painter reappear in this new series of work, using machines to ‘paint’ large swathes of colour and hand stitching to produce detailed focus points.

The work is supported by Arts Council England

Elsewhere in 2020 Alice Kettle presents a solo show of work Alice Kettle, Threads of Changeat Saïd Business School, Oxford from January to April and is an invited artist for “Untitled, 2020” at Punta Dogana in Venice curated by Thomas Houseago, Caroline Bourgeois and Muna El Fituri with the Pinault Collection from March to December.  She is one of three contempoaray artists (others are Yinka Shonibar and Sarbjit Natt) as part of Unbound curated by June Hill at Two Temple Place April 2020.


6.30pm – 7.30pm
Threaded Focus: Contemporary musings on the history of textile art

Join a panel of artists, curators and craft experts as they unpick the various threads of textile art; exploring artistic legacies, new techniques and contemporary responses to this traditional practice.

With Alice Kettle, artist and Professor of Textile Arts at Manchester School of Art, Caron Penney, artist and founder of textile atelier Weftfaced and Lotte Crawford, Assistant Curator of UNBOUND exhibition at Two Temple Place. Chaired by Platform curator Candida Stevens, Director at Candida Stevens Gallery.