Take Five – Q&A with Anne Kelly


Ailish Henderson shares her view on the world of embroidery - it's the Ailist!

Textile artist Anne Kelly has just released a wonderful new book: Textile Travels (check out our recent review here). We thought that this would be the ideal time to catch up with her and dig a little deeper…

Anne Kelly - Textile Travels 

Book Cover
Anne Kelly – Textile Travels

1.  Where Did Your Book Idea Come From For Textile Travels?

I had always included elements of travel and journeys in my previous books. Before the current pandemic, I was doing a lot of travel – teaching and exhibiting in the UK and internationally, and wanted to share my experiences and document them in a book. There is such a range of makers and techniques currently working with aspects of travel and journeys. I wanted to show how long distance travel and journeys closer to home could be equally inspiring.

Farindola Studio - Anne Kelly
Home or away – we all have our own favourite studio setting

2.  How Is It Different From Your Previously Published Works?

Because the book is focussing on travel, it is by necessity a more broad ranging topic than my last title ‘Textile Folk Art’. In that sense it is more similar to my first solo book ‘Textile Nature’. There are some new features in ‘Textile Travels’, verbal prompts and a chapter specialising in materials and techniques for travelling. This final chapter is a good addition to the book for students and teachers.

This book has been created with sections which are valuable for students and teachers alike - here we see a map of devon as inspiration for a piece of her work
This book has been created with sections which are valuable for students and teachers alike

3.  Has Co-vid19 Affected Your Practice?  If So How?

The current pandemic has affected everyone and I am grateful to be able to work from home. All of my teaching for 2020 has been moved online or forward to 2021. My writing has continued and I was grateful for the release of my new book, although the events around its’ launch were very different! My exhibition commitments have also been moved forward, which has given me longer to plan and prepare for them.

Time as a silver lining - Kelly has more planning space due to the current situation - making for better work.  here we see another piece of her work, focusing on a girls dress
Time as a silver lining – Kelly has more planning space due to the current situation – making for better work

4.  What Are Your Plans From Here?


Currently I am working towards a major solo exhibition at the Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales next year, from March to July. I will also be delivering workshops alongside the exhibition, hopefully in person. I have a number of ongoing projects and commissions which are keeping me busy, and I am continuing to teach and give talks online through the first quarter of next year.

It is all in the detail - a snapshot view of one of Kelly's beautiful nature inspired pieces - we wonder what her exhibition will hold
It is all in the detail – a snapshot view of one of Kelly’s beautiful nature inspired pieces – we wonder what her exhibition will hold

5.  Going Back To Your Book, Were There Certain Parts Which You Enjoyed Writing More Than Others?

I generally found the writing of the book to be enjoyable, but am always pleased when the manuscript goes to the publishers. Connecting the chapters by theme and ensuring that the artists’ works are represented accurately and in a meaningful sequence is always challenging. I liked the new chapter mentioned previously, as I hadn’t written anything similar in my other books.

Anne Kelly Unfinished Journey Boat
What is your textile journey?

There you go – its great to see artist planning for the future – giving us something to look forward to next year. make sure to keep up to date with Kelly’s progress via her website. We are sure to mention her again soon here too on Mr X Stitch!

Remember to read our review of Textile Travels here.

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