Loose Threads: Glimpse

Silk, cotton and Lurex cast in acrylic resin


“Laura Thomas is an award winning woven textile artist and designer specializing in producing striking textile artworks for contemporary spaces.  Laura’s breadth of practice and multi-faceted approach has made her somewhat unusual in the woven textiles sphere.  Whether it be site-specific art, exhibition work or interior textile design, underpinning all of Laura’s work is an inherent practical curiosity to exploit weave principles, celebrate the beauty of yarns and create striking aesthetics for this ancient craft.

Laura is particularly well known for her ‘Resonate’ body of work, whereby delicate textile constructions are cast in acrylic resin resulting in a surprising juxtaposition between the hard edged acrylic and loose threads or openly woven cloth.

The new artworks created for ‘A Darker Thread’, were made in response to the current political climate.  The ‘Loose Threads’ sculptures aim to capture the unwoven warp threads stretched taut on a loom – an analogy for time standing still and a fleeting glimpse at what the future might hold.  Each one of the three sculptures offer a narrow flash of red, blue or yellow threads through black silk and cotton yarns; the essential primary colours not entirely obscured by darkness.”


Born and brought up in Pembrokeshire, Laura Thomas studied woven textiles in the University of Central England, The Royal College of Art, and then on to become one of the founding Fellows of The Ann Sutton Foundation, a weave design research centre in Sussex.

Since completing her Fellowship in 2003, Laura established her textile art and design studio in South Wales, and has been dividing her time between public and private art commissions, exhibition work, curation, technical research and freelance design consultancy.  Laura is also a lecturer on the BA Textiles: knit, weave & mixed media course in The Carmarthen School of Art, Coleg Sir Gâr.

Laura’s breadth of practice and multi-faceted approach has made her somewhat unusual in the woven textiles sphere.  Whether it be site-specific art, exhibition work or interior textile design, underpinning all of Laura’s work is an inherent practical curiosity to exploit weave principles, celebrate the beauty of yarns and create striking aesthetics for this ancient craft.

Laura has received many notable awards for her practice including a Creative Wales Ambassador Award from the Arts Council of Wales. In 2011 Laura was a finalist in the Inspire Wales Awards in recognition for both her practice, education work and involvement with organisations such as the Makers Guild in Wales to raise the profile of craft. In 2008 Laura won the Applied Arts prize in the Welsh Artist of the Year competition for a ‘Loose Threads’ sculpture and the Wesley Barrell Craft Award for Textiles. She has work in several public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Wool Museum, the Powerhouse Museum in Australia and the Crafts Study Centre.

Recent public art commissions have included: The Beaney House of Knowledge in Canterbury, Cynon Valley Hospital in Mountain Ash and the new Fairmont Hotel in Mecca.

Working alongside Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Laura developed, selected and curated ‘warp+weft’, an exhibition of international contemporary weaving in 2010 which toured to other venues in Wales and England. Other curatorial projects have included: 2015 ‘Connecting Threads’ Tenby Museum, Pembrokeshire; 2013 ‘Utility’ Craft in the Bay, Cardiff;  2011‘Resonant Colour’ Llantarnam Grange, Cwmbran, Wales;  2010 warp+weft: from handloom to production, National Wool Museum; 2010 ‘Exposed: textiles in the open’, Fibre Art Wales at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

Laura has exhibited widely nationally and internationally exhibitions have included: 2017 Grassi Messe, Leipzig, Germany; 2016 15th Tapestry Triennial, Lodz, Poland; 2012  Retro / Prospective, Brown Grotta Arts, USA; 2012-14 Beauty is the first test: Contemporary Craft & Mathematics, Pumphouse Gallery, London, then on tour to 7 further venues around the UK; 2010 – 2011  Inspired by Albers, Ruthin Craft Centre & Dovecot Studio Gallery; 2009 Sara Preisler Gallery, Custard Factory, Birmingham; 2009 ‘Better than Grey: a serious consideration of colour’ group show, Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery; 2009 ‘Fibre Voices’ Fibre Art Wales ten year anniversary touring group show, Llantarnam Grange, Cwmbran & The Ucheldre, Holyhead; 2006  ‘Penelope’s Thread’ Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London;  2006 ‘Inspired by Architecture’, group exhibition, Lesley Craze Gallery, London.

Laura is part of a forthcoming artist residency in India, leading to new exhibition work which will be shown in 2018 at Ruthin Craft Centre, National Wool Museum and in India.


Wired and Weave

Mixed media processes and materials including metal wire, concrete, wood and textile


“The statuesque ‘Wired’ and ‘Weave’ embody a multilayered narrative, which incorporate personal memory and the physical practice of ‘making’.

The balance between the processes of transformation of materials, and ‘meaning’, inherently play with the abstract and emotional charge experienced by the viewer. Using a combination of mixed media and reclaimed objects, my work experiments with the balance between construction and destruction; reinventing and reassembling; stepping back in time, only to then move forward and respond intuitively with materials such as wire, nails, tacks, wood, cloth and thread. These are indeed man-made materials, which resonate and reference soft furnishing, carpentry, refurbishment and building work.

Part upholstered with binding and tacks, ambiguous textured knit and wrapped with wire, they reference the personal memory of a home built, of protection and presence within. Evoking a commanding presence, as if frozen in time, they are simultaneously strong, reverential, silent and solemnly dominant; echoing the architectural, memorials and monuments of the past.

Subtle tonal variations of black are used to focus the eye on the details within the works, rendering them timeless and universal in their solitude and sense of humility. I endeavour to evoke a sense of silence, presence and spirit inherent within; sculptures of dark, intense beauty.

‘Sense of Place’, upbringing, absence and of course mortality are integral to my concepts within this body of works.”


Ruth Harries was born and lives in Wales. She has exhibited both Nationally and Internationally including the International Contemporary Craft Biennale, China, the Pfaff Art Embroidery London, Paris, Netherlands & Sweden, Made London and has represented Wales in the Festival Interceltique de L’Orient.

Awards include the Best Textiles Award – Selvedge Magazine at ‘Made by Hand’, Uk; Antiques of the Future’ Award- Homes & Antiques Magazine; Welsh Artist of the Year (overall winner), &  Mixed Media Award; Craft and Design Award -National Eisteddfod of Wales, Ruth was also a shortlisted prize winner for the Texteil Festival Holland.

Commissions have included the British Council, the National Trust and the Welsh Assembly Government.

Ruth is a founding member of Fibre Art Wales (Exhibiting group) and a member of the Makers Guild in Wales.

Publications include: Contemporary Craft Magazine China (6 page feature) 2015; Culture Colony Quaterly Magazine (feature article) 2015; ‘text in textile art’ by Sara Impey , Batsford 2013; ‘Instinctive Quilt Art’ by Bethan Ash 2011; ’10’- Fibre Art Wales – 10Years  2009; Embroidery Magazine (feature article) 2006 & 2007 and Art Embroidery-Still Life, Pfaff 2006.

Exhibitions include: 2015 – Lle Celf – National Eisteddfod of Wales; 2015  –  Select – Stroud International Textiles Festival; ‘Transience’ – Fibre Art Wales – Craft in the Bay, Wales; 2014 –  International Contemporary Craft Biennale, Nantong, China; ‘Made’ – Showcase Yorkshire sculpture Park Gallery; ‘Fourteen’ – WW1 commemorative exhibition; 2013 –  MADE London – selected exhibition; 2010  – Texteil Festival Holland – ( shortlisted prize winner); Pfaff Art Embroidery Exhibition, Alexandra Palace, London, Paris; ‘Homelands’ FAW in Vermont, USA; 2008 – Pfaff Art Embroidery Exhibition, Alexandra Palace, London, France , Netherlands, Sweden; 2007 – Welsh Contemporaries in London; 2006 – Art Embroidery, Sweden, France; 2005 – Museum of Modern Art, Wales; Stuttgart, Welsh Artists Exhibition; Festival Interceltique de L’Orient, France  – solo show representing Wales; Pfaff Art Embroidery Exhibition, Alexandra Palace, London; 2005 – ‘Birthright’ Llantarnam Grange Art Centre.

In the gallery foyer until 21st October.

This year Oriel Myrddin Gallery joined forces with artist Laura Thomas and the National Wool Museum for the 2017 Big Draw – creating a giant woven work of art on the Museum’s tenter frame.

The tenter frame is situated near the banks of the river Bargod and is used for drying blankets after fulling – a process where the cloth is washed and then stretched out to dry so it doesn’t shrink. This is where we get the expression on tenter hooks.

The weaving, done by over 40 participants was filmed and turned into a time lapse animation by Jacob Whittaker.

Penitence I: the garter of penance, 2006-07

Leather, barbs, threads


Worn for long periods by nuns of particular orders, under the dictact of The Church of Rome. The pain inflicted by the barbs endured as punishment (often self-inflicted and decided upon) for ‘evil thoughts of the flesh’. A pain offered up as a private demonstration of Devotion; agony for the sake of and Love of Jesus Christ.

As with many pieces, there are hints of autobiography, whilst focusing on the main reasoning; the arrogance and misuse of power which brings potential for war and deep, often hidden sorrow and agony to the powerless.”

Rozanne Hawksley was born in 1931 in Portsmouth, Hampshire and has lived and worked in Pembrokeshire since 1987. She studied at Southern College of Art, Portsmouth Centre 1947-1951 and Royal College of Art, School of Fashion 1951-1954.

During her long career, Rozanne has taught and lectured at art colleges in Guildford, Brighton and Portsmouth as well as American Centre of Needlework, Washington DC, USA; Battersea College of Education (University of South Bank and Roehampton); Goldsmiths, University of London; The Slade and The Royal College of Art.

Solo exhibitions have included National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London 2014; Foundling Hospital Museum, London 2011/12; Mission Gallery, Swansea, Wales 1997 and 2010; The Centre for the Applied Arts, Ruthin, Wales 2009; Imperial War Museum aboard HMS Belfast, London 2006/2007.

Amongst numerous national and international group exhibitions Rozanne’s work has featured in the Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan 2013; Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast 2012; Tilburg Textile Museum 2003, Holland; Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh 1993; Central Museum of Textiles, Łódź, Poland 1992.

In autumn 2017 Rozanne’s work will be shown at the Battleship Cove Maritime Museum in Massachusetts for a two year period. The Contemporary Art Society of Wales also recently purchased two works for the National Museum in Cardiff to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster.

Rozanne’s work is held in a number of public collections including Embroiderers’ Guild; Association for the Advancement of Science, London; National Maritime Museum; Imperial War Museum; The Bishop of London, the Rt. Revd and Rt. Hon Richard Chartres; National Museum of Wales.

Ruptures, 2017

Stainless steel frame, machine embellishing and hand embroidery on linen

“I let go of the need to be intact. The stitching of me loosens. The expansion bursts into endless ruptures of membranes. And the mass of me pours out as layers of grasping and pulling. The tide is low. What shapes will haunt me now?”

In creating ‘Ruptures’ I have returned to the recurrent themes in my work of duality, place, language, and conflict. My practices consist of using basic stitches and marks to make a visual outcome. It is repetitiveness and rhythm I am interested in. And a place where inner and outer landscapes merge, where the mundane and extraordinary can be brought closer together.


Born in Lithuania, Indre Eugenija Dunn now lives and works in Wales. Indre gained her BA (Hons)in Contemporary Textile Practice at Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2011 and has since exhibited her work in south and west Wales.




Handwoven lambswool and cotton


“The sense of belonging is a hard sense to describe. A subconscious feeling of being at ease; feeling comfortable in your natural habitat.

My interest in textiles began at a very young age as I was raised in a small village in west Wales that had two weaving mills. Creating this piece has made me realise how much influence the traditional Welsh designs have had on my work.

I have always been drawn to rich colours and enjoy playing with colour combinations.

The woven throw encapsulates the atmosphere and essence of the traditional designs that we’ve seen from the Welsh woollen industry.

The throw has a simple yet sophisticated quality that allows the space and the details inherent in my surroundings to hold equal prominence in the cloth.

This piece has been hand woven on a traditional loom.”


Llio James is a textile designer specialising in weave gaining her initial skills from Manchester School of Art followed by MA Design studies in Fashion and Textiles at Bath Spa University. She has since gone on to work within the weave industry in the USA and Scotland, more recently returning to Wales where she is keen to develop the relationship between hand weaving and the woollen industry within Wales.

Currently working as a part time co-course leader and weave tutor at Carmarthen School of Art, Llio also works on commissions and collaborations alongside developing her hand weaving craft.

Llio has shown her work in exhibitions across Wales and received awards including an ‘Entry to Work Scheme’ position with Macnaughton Textile Group in Perth, Scotland from The

Worshipful Company of Weavers; a scholarship from the James Pantyfedwn Foundation and an Art, Design and Technology Scholarship at the 2011 Urdd National Eisteddfod.

Other opportunities have included working as a weaving technician for the Buck’s Rock Performing and Creative Arts Camp, Connecticut in 2008; an internship with KOVA Textiles, New York City, in 2009 – 2010 and weaving placements with Melin Tregwynt in Pembrokeshire and The Gower Heritage Centre in 2010.

A Phoenix Yet in Flames, 2016 (detail)

Embroidery on mixed material

“I make visual narratives through embroidery, exploring human relationships, and feelings of love, fear, belonging, betrayal and tragedy. I’m inspired by the Celtic mythologies of my Welsh roots, in particular the collection of tales from ‘The Mabinogion’. These medieval fables were passed down through oral tradition, and include enchanting stories where people are turned into animals, and where love treads close to death and tragedy.

Embroidery and textiles are imbued with connotations of homeliness and domesticity, and have emotive qualities relating to memories of people and comfort. In my work, I channel the stories from my own life into textile narratives, pulling on the themes and styles of the medieval cyfarwydd (‘storyteller’). I am interested in the connection people have with animals, and the way we find comfort in their company, and I often use animals as metaphors and as a way of representing emotions. Using embroidery techniques, I stitch together the stories of my own life, depicting the stillness of an emotion in a moment in time.

I embroider using a free-hand Irish sewing machine, a specialist technique with a machine that ceased production in the 1950s.”


Rhiannon was born in Cardiff, attending a Welsh-speaking school in Llantrisant where she was immersed in Welsh culture, singing in the local choir and competing in the annual Eisteddfod. She remembers the excitement of hearing stories of her namesake, the horse goddess Rhiannon, in the Welsh fables of Y Mabinogion. She lost the Welsh language when her family relocated to Herefordshire, where she currently resides.

Rhiannon graduated from University College Falmouth in 2011 with a first class BA (Hons) in Textiles and in 2014 with an MA in Textiles from the Royal College of Art. In 2011, she received a Texprint award for the top 24 textiles graduates in the UK, exhibiting in Paris as part of Première Vision. Since, she has worked in fashion studios in London, New York and Stockholm as a textiles designer, where she developed her love of pattern and embellishment. Rhiannon was awarded the Worshipful Company of Needlemakers Scholarship in 2014.

In 2015, she was commissioned by Hampshire Council to produce a large scale WW1 memorial embroidery, permanently displayed in Whitchurch Town Hall. Other recent exhibitions include Made By Hand, Cardiff City Hall 2016, Act Up World Aids Day, Hackney Picturehouse (in collaboration with Faye Oakenfull) 2014, Portal, Llantarnam Grange, 2014, Show, RCA Battersea 2014, New Visuality, According to McGee, York 2011

In Another Light (Detail)
Sheepskin parchment, white gold, monofilament

“This is a work about memory, time and almost imperceptible but unstoppable change. The holes are seared into gilded sheepskin parchment before being cut out and threaded onto monofilament to create a delicate mass of barely there substance. A hole cannot exist without the material that frames it, and the work is as much about absence as it is about presence. Time is key, in the making of the work, but also, the white gold will slowly and subtly tarnish and change over time. This is the second in a series of works, over-archingly called ‘Nothing is Something’. The works are an expression of fragmentation and of unified separate moments that reflect something of the human condition, as well as the artist’s concern with ‘the impossibility of things remaining the same”.


Soft Target

Kidsilk Haze yarn

One in a series of 13 hand crafted pom pom targets.

Word play and language have often informed and inspired work, as have the choice, transformation and placement of materials to draw out meaning.  Soft Target is a play on words that acknowledges Claus Oldenburg’s soft sculptures.  The pompom is one of the first low craft objects that children learn to make. ‘Soft Target’ serves as a comment on the vulnerable, especially children during a military or terrorist attack.”


Philippa Lawrence was born in Louth, Lincolnshire. She graduated from Norwich School of Art with a 1st Class (hons) Degree in Fine Art in 1990. After graduating she did a residency at Gresham’s School, Holt to fund her MA in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art (1991-1993). She is Principal Lecturer on ‘Artist, Designer: Maker’ at Cardiff School of Art & Design, Cardiff Metropolitan University. She lives and works in Bristol with a studio at Spike Island.

Her practice is diverse, embracing land and environmental art, the use of textiles in a fine art context, and the relationship between art, craft and design.  Since 2003 her practice has been primarily site-responsive, concerned with issues related to human relationships to land, nature and place. Issues revolve around: boundaries, land use, land ownership, an increasing concern with imposed limitations, and an encroachment on humankind’s wild spaces – both the public and geographic and the private and psychological. Materials and process are equally important to her as is a consideration of the multiple sites we occupy.

Work pivots on material exploration, drawing out a material’s ability to carry metaphor and speak of human experience, and in a positioning of elements to assist an understanding of site and a re-activation of space. Trained in Fine Art Printmaking at Norwich School of Art and the Royal College of Art Philippa maintains an interest in the language of making, in the multiple and in process.

Philippa works on site-specific projects, commissions and exhibitions. She has exhibited widely both in the UK and internationally, including America, Japan, Czech Republic, Canada, Iceland and Australia. Notable exhibitions include ‘Angles of Incidence’ through AiRx and the British Council, at Singapore Botanic Gardens and at Inner Temple London (2014), ‘Encounters at the Edge of the Forest’, (2014) Chicago, USA, ‘Cloth & Memory {2} (2013) Salts Mill, Saltaire, ‘Bite-Size’ at the Daiwa Anglo Foundation and subsequent tour to Japan (2012) and commissions for Waddesdon Manor (2013-4), ‘Darning the Land: Seam’ at Church Gresley, Derbyshire (2011) for re:place, ‘Bound V-57’ for ‘Nature Unframed’ at Morton Arboretum, Lisle, USA (2011) and for Meadow Art Gallery ‘Barcode FB:814’, (2011) and ‘Tell it to the Trees’ at Croft Castle, Herefordshire (2009-10).

Recent awards made to the artist include Cardiff Metropolitan University Seed Funding (2015) to examine threatened crafts and HEFCW SIP funding (2011) to work with Waddesdon Manor.


She is currently working on a series of projects for Hestercombe House, Taunton.

Saturday 7 October 2017, 1 – 4pm

Join lecturer, researcher and maker Angela Maddock for a practical workshop inspired by the processes and discoveries during her residency at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College, London.

Participants are encouraged to bring along something knitted or woven that is holed, worn or threadbare for repair. You will learn two methods of visible mending – weave and swiss darning and through discussion and making, explore acts of regeneration and repair, of making good but not always perfect.

Cost: £25 includes materials and  please bring something  to mend

Booking Essential 01267 222775

Suitable for age 16+

Saturday 7 October 2017, 11 am

Angela Maddock is a lecturer, researcher and maker who’s work celebrates the tactile and explores the properties, qualities and tensions of emotional and physical intimacy.

Maddock is a PhD by practice researcher in the School of Material at the Royal College of Art, where she is also a visiting tutor in textiles. As maker in residence 2016-17 at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College, London she explored parallels between clinical practices and skills associated with textile making.

Admission Free

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