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Annette Bailey

BA (Hons) Fine Art

I am an artist, a collector of treasures, and a compulsive hand/machine stitcher. I combine these possessions in making “one-off” pieces, and installations that include a metaphor and a narrative, with a sense of nostalgia.

I locate myself on the edge of craft and Fine Art. The process of making is very important to me. My work is often underpinned by ideas of concept, which dictate the choice of materials, methods and contexts in which the work is explored and produced.

I see fibre as the basic element constructing the organic world of our planet. It is from fibre that all structure organisans are built, the tissues of our plants and ourselves – we are all a fibrous tissue. Clothing encompasses a reference to the human body, hence I often use garments as a narrative and a metaphor. Stitching is a necessary human activity. The survival instinct requires us to mend, repair, join, make and protect. It is as important as nourishment and reproduction to our lives.

Each piece of my work often holds its own personality reflecting on my mother, Grandmother and Aunts who nurtured and influenced me in my childhood.


I draw from stories, poetry, sayings and stitch which demands a deep sensory appreciation in the making. There is weight and tensions in a thread as it draws through cloth making textures as it builds to create a surface. The rhythm of the sewing machine needle that pierces and punctures in its fascinating journey to set a mark. I like to use text which is deeply embedded in the history of textiles.

I work in both 2 and 3 dimensional pieces through drawing, painting and stitching to explore line quality, form and repetition. Accidental marks and imprints often inspire my works. There is something very special about leaving your mark with needle and thread. It is a slow thoughtful process. Drawing is a process of inquisition and discovery that allows us to make sense of our surroundings. It fulfils the basic human desire for personal creative expression and consequently reflects individual experiences where subjectivity and perception assume influential roles. – I use the needle to draw with. I have extensively researched contemporary artists who work with instillations, textiles, stitch, fibres and use traditional methods in a contemporary way.

I have been inspired by Shelley Goldsmith, Christian Boltanski, Louise Bourgeois, Annette Messenger and Tabitha Kyoko Moses. I am a member of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators and North West Calligraphers Association.

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