Talking Point: Alice Kettle

A collection of sources to explore the work of Alice Kettle.

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Alice Kettle

Alice Kettle is a contemporary textile/fibre artist based in the UK. Alice originally trained as a painter and will often begin her work with a painted background which she then embroiders on. Her large scale work is composed of individual tiny stitches, which combine to form great swathes of colour, painterly backgrounds incorporating rich hues.

Odyssey by Alice Kettle, Odyssey, thread on canvas (2003)

Alice Kettle, Odyssey, thread on canvas (2003)

The Scalloped Edge

“The project uses stitch as a common cultural language to make connections through motif, process and metaphor. The sharing and exchange of the tacit knowledge with the local community in a series of collaborative works forms an important part of this collection.

Embroidery in Madeira as with British stitchwork, is undertaken primarily by women. The exhibition uses distinctive elements of Madeiran embroidery reinterpreted into my contemporary works in machine and hand stitch. Titled the scalloped edge, which is a feature of this embroidery, it draws upon the characteristic palette of white or blue and the repeated flowing lines in satin stitch and long-and-short stitch.” – Alice Kettle

Watch the first 4 minutes of this video about the project.

The Scalloped Edge Collaborative work by Alice Kettle
Stitching Samples by Alice Kettle
Sea Figure by Alice Kettle

Sea Figure, Alice Kettle, 2016, Thread on linen, 223 x 128 cm

Questions to Ask Children

How does the work make you feel?

How do you think that collaboration benefitted the community and the artist?

What connections can you see to the sea in these works?

How does scale impact the viewers experience of the work?


Watch this video to find out more about Alice’s recent collection for the exhibition ‘Threadbound’.

Questions to Ask Children

What do you like/dislike about the work that you can see in this video?

Did one textiles piece stick in your mind? Why?

If you combined an image of yourself with a plant, what would you choose? Why?


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