At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.
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Here’s what we think of Textile Travels by Anne Kelly in a nutshell.
Anne Kelly’s Textile Travels takes us on journeys to places we may never get to visit ourselves, whilst encouraging us to look at what is around us. The whole publication is well illustrated and showcases the work of many artists as well as Kelly’s own offerings; making for a balanced, practical guide.
About The Author
Kelly is currently based in the Kent area of the UK. She is classed as an artist, tutor and author, training at several locations – thus her experience is multifaceted. Her practice is varied materially, spanning mixed media such as papers, stitch, collage and technical processes associated with both art and textiles. She takes inspiration from life, be it her travels, history or memories. This makes her work personal and unique. She often takes part in artist collaborations, opening herself up to new ways of working. She has written and successfully published several books, as well as traveling the word to exhibit and teach. Kelly also writes for websites; here at Mr X Stitch we have had the privilege of having her write guest posts in recent times – keep a look out for more in the future!
Who Is This Book Aimed At?
This is the sort of book which abides nicely on any coffee table – yet it is not pretentious, it is one to treasure and keep on reviewing. Thus we deem that it is a book open to all, due to its inspirational nature. Those not textile based will appreciate its aesthetic, whilst those who are avid followers of Kelly’s work will
The book has been divided into several sections, all clearly marked out. Within each chapter, there are practical suggestions dappled with inspirational imagery to feed our minds visually.
The book begins with Kelly exploring the use of such things as maps in textile art….fitting thematically.
We liked how there is no weight towards one culture or another. Kelly has obviously travelled far and wide and this had created within her a balanced approach. She has become a magpie through the years, pocketing particles from her experiences. She can then use this experience to really present her theme is a plush visual manner.
We found the clear formatting helpful within this book. Headings and chapters are clearly marked. The use of travel inspired quotes, by artists and writers alike as well as other members of history make this an unusual read, given the subject matter – yet they all fit well. Note the film directors quote below.
There is a constant flow of sublime imagery, taking in a multitude of artists, as well as Kelly. We like the two page spread images, connecting the writing over the full two pages. It allows for ease of viewing too, as the illustrations are large when pasted in this manner.
There is a good mix of image variety, close ups, wide angle shots and those spanning one or more pages.
What Makes The Book Special?
This year (2020) has seen us all more home located. Previously this may have seemed like a bind, stuck at home. However gradually it has made us all appreciate what we have around us. Kelly honours this, really showing us how we can use our past travels to influence and inspire us as well as what is actually around us – travel does not have to been jumping on a plane, it could simply translate to a walk in our local park or our own garden. It is about seeing what is there.
Anything Wrong With The Book?
Really there is nothing wrong with the book – it is simply a matter of personal choice. Having been published by Batsford, it has the reliability factor – we know we are on to a winner; overall anyway!
Textile Travels by Anne Kelly is a fitting new piece to coincide with her other published books. It is very different, so we never felt that the content was repetitive – it shows yet another side of her artistic prowess.
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