Ali Pretty

Ali Pretty by Kinetika by Kinetika
by Kinetika
by Kinetika

Ali Pretty is a visual artist who designs for large-scale outdoor events. She founded her own company Kinetika in 1997 and since then has worked on events ranging from the Notting Hill Carnival and the Making’s annual World Party to the Kolkata Carnival in India and the Carnival of Human Rights in Johannesburg. She has a strong sense of purpose, and was initially attracted to the arts because she sees them as a powerful force for good. She says, ‘My drivers are social and political and I want to use the arts as a tool for change and to empower people.’

Pauline Burbidge

Pailine Burbidge by Pauline Burbidge by Pauline Burbidge
by Pauline Burbidge
by Pauline Burbidge

Pauline Burbidge has been making quilts for 35 years, an achievement which will be marked this summer by a large retrospective exhibition. She started off making fairly traditional patchwork pieces, but her work has gradually got freer and freer and now she creates large-scale abstract collages inspired by her local landscape. But in spite of the distance she has travelled artistically, Burbidge is proud of the traditional origins of her practice: ‘I call myself a textile artist and designer-maker, but I am a quilt maker as well, and my work is directly linked with the tradition of quilt making’.

Ptolemy Mann

Ptolemy Mann Chroma Ikat cushion Monolithic Box Series at Roast Restaurant
Ikat collection
Circle 2

Weaver Ptolemy Mann is best known for her linear, colour-soaked wall panels. Colour is crucial to her work and her woven artworks are all about zinging colour combinations and subtle gradations of colour achieved by the ikat technique she uses to dye her warp threads. Although she cites the greats of Modernism as her inspiration, including the likes of Anni Albers, Charles and Ray Eames, along with abstract expressionists such as Rothko, she also finds inspiration in photography and the landscape saying, ‘colour is everywhere you look’.

Clary Salandy

Clary Salandry Olympic Party by Clary Salandry
by Clary Salandry
by Clary Salandry

Clary Salandy was born in Trinidad but has lived and worked in the UK since she was 16, being one of the founders of Mahogany Carnival Arts for Notting Hill in 1990. She is now one of the UK’s leading carnival designers, and has worked on major events such as the Queen’s Golden Jubilee procession and the opening ceremony for the Special Olympics in Leicester in 2009. Carnival is clearly a passion for her, both because of its Caribbean history and its life-enhancing democratic appeal and she says, ‘Carnival is a visual, dynamic, larger-than-life way of working.’

Michael Brennand-Wood

Michael Brennand Wood Vase Attacks by Michael Brennand-Wood Burst by Michael Brennand-Wood
Stars underfoot by Michael Brennand-Wood
Babal by Michael Brennand-Wood

Michael Brennand-Wood describes himself as ‘an artist with a sustained interest in textiles’. During his 40 odd years as a practicing artist he’s held numerous exhibitions and has also worked as a lecturer (at Goldsmiths College, London), curator and arts consultant. He makes elaborate, eye-catching wall-hung pieces that are part sculpture, part textile. Covered in an intriguing variety of materials ranging from conventional textiles to flags, CDs and badges, the pieces have elaborate visual patterns which mask more profound meanings.

Linda Florence

Linda Florence Wallpaper by Linda Florence Floor in the Sheffield millenium Gallery by Linda Florence
lampshade by Linda Florence
sugar Dance by Linda Florence

Designer-maker Linda Florence's work is all about pattern making. She specialises in hand printed wallpapers, designed with an eye-catching combination of contemporary and traditional motifs, colours and textures, but has also made floor tiles, book covers, screens and is perhaps best known for her sugar floors patterned with motifs worked in icing sugar. 'I enjoy making different things for different people', she says.

Rezia Wahid

Rezia Wahid Textiles by Rezia Wahid textiles by Rezia Wahid
textiles by Rezia Wahid
textiles by Rezia Wahid

Rezia Wahid weaves delicate, semi-transparent textiles designed to create an atmosphere of tranquillity and harmony. Inspired by her love of nature and a deep spirituality, her subtle textiles are all about light, air and texture. She says, ‘my work uses a craft technique, but is also conceptual so I am both a crafts person and an artist.’

Lucy Brown

Lucy Brown All will be revealed by Lucy Brown a perfect fit by Lucy Brown
Bare by Lucy Brown
Limbo by Lucy Brown

Lucy Brown makes sculptural textiles and textile installations using deconstructed vintage costume. She uses the past histories of the garments as a starting point to creating multi-layered pieces exploring ideas about femininity, identity, the body and body politics.

Kei Ito

Kei Ito flower bag by Kei Ito theatre costume set by Kei Ito
crin white dress by Kei Ito
Project by Kei Ito

Japanese-born textile artist Kei Ito makes elaborate, sculptural garments by manipulating fabrics with a series of pleats, cutting techniques and folds. Her pieces push the boundaries of conventional fashion, swathing the wearer in a series of elaborate, geometric folds and volumes. A recent example was modelled by Deirdre Figueiredo of Craftspace when she did her stint on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth highlighting the importance of craft and making.

Caroline Broadhead

Caroline Broadhead  Necklace / Veil, 1982, nylon, photo David Ward The Waiting Game, 1997, linen dress made for dance performance in collaboration with Angela Woodhouse
Exchange of Views, 2006, acrylic mirror, photo Phil Sayer
Breathing Space, 2005, installation at York St Mary’s, polyester wadding, nylon line, lead, sound and light, photo Jerry Hardman Jones

Caroline Broadhead is a highly versatile artist. Trained as jeweller, she developed her practice beyond this discipline to work on a larger scale, with textiles, light and space and also in collaboration with choreographers for dance performances, winning the Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts: Textiles in 1997.

Now the newly appointed course director of BA Jewellery at Central St Martins, she says, ‘My work is mainly driven by ideas but making and materials are an integral part of the process. You can’t make things without considering the craft of it.’

Sarah Cant

Sarah Cant Textiles In Performance, Bride Widow by Sarah Cant Pixie by Sarah Cant
Swan Headpiece by Sarah Cant
Memory Camisole by Sarah Cant

Sarah Cant is a woman of many talents; she has a PhD in French Literature, is a professional milliner, designs jewellery and multi-media textiles as well as the occasional theatrical costume. She puts this variety down to a love of change: 'I couldn't just do one thing all the time - I like change and challenge and playing with new ideas.'

Alison Willoughby

Portrait of Alison WilloughbyAlison Willoughby image 1Alison Willoughby image 2
Alison Willoughby image 3
Alison Willoughby image 4

Alison Willoughby is best known for making one-off, elaborately patterned skirts. They are as much works of art as pieces of clothing, but she is reluctant to be described as either a fashion designer or a fine artist, preferring to call herself a textile designer. ‘It’s annoying being put in a strict category,’ she says. ‘But I trained as a textile designer and my material is fabric and for me, fabric is where the excitement lies.’

Dawn Dupree

Portrait of Dawn DupreeDawn Dupree Image 1Dawn Dupree image 2
Dawn Dupree image 3
Dawn Dupree image 4

Textile artist Dawn Dupree creates evocative, semi-abstract urban landscapes by building up printed layers of colour and images. They are full of unexpected surprises and juxtapositions each telling a separate narrative often slightly unsettling undertones. ‘I like to make things that are attractive, colourful and have a visual richness so that people are forced to look a bit more closely at them and see unexpected things,’ she says.

Alice Kettle

Portrait of Alice Kettlecoeus dreamLotos Easters

Textile artist Alice Kettle creates dramatic figurative panels built up using free machine embroidery. She says, ‘I find embroidery really liberating as it is both a drawing tool and constructional tool.’ She is currently working on a large-scale commission at Winchester Discovery Centre (due to be installed in September) where visitors can watch her at work during gallery opening hours.

Samantha Bryan

portrait sam.jpgAirship FairyBrains Fairies Airship
Brains Fairies Winch
Landing practice

Yorkshire-based artist Samantha Bryan makes fantastical wire and mixed media sculptures. Her quirky – often humorous and always highly individual – figures depict long-limbed fairies manning bizarre, machine-like contraptions. They are characterised by an off-beat, zany charm which is realised by Bryan’s imaginative and skilful making technique. She says, ‘my objective is to realise the necessities and requirements involved in fairy life – to provide everything a fairy would need during its daily existence.’
Visit Samantha's website at