On a Mission to Stitch

by BAY reader Alison Lane

On a Mission to Stitch

As a birthday gift my sister treated me to a Stitch Workshop at the Mission Gallery in Gloucester Place in the marina. The workshop was run by JULIE ARKELL who currently has an exhibition called ‘Away’ on at the gallery which runs until the 12th of April 2015


Arkell’s work is a magical collection of ‘creatures’ which she creates from papier-mache, scraps of fabric and trinkets, most of which are embroidered with little statements which may be amusing or sad and at times a little bonkers.  There are a hundred of these creatures in the main ‘Away’ series in the exhibition made at a rate of one a week and they are presented as a narrative set which reflects the feelings she experienced following the death of her mother.  It starts with a small timid creature and progresses through a range of endearing characters with various statements becoming increasingly robust and opinionated. 

The exhibition also includes a wide range of small items all handmade by Arkell, such as brooches and small fabric animals.  Her output is quite prolific and very individual.  The workshop gave us the opportunity to create our own brooches in the style of Arkell under her supervision whilst listening to her talk about how she gets her creative ideas.  So about 15 likeminded ladies all with varying sewing abilities and experiences had a thoroughly enjoyable day stitching and chatting and being inspired by a teacher with a unique and quirky outlook on life. We also enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch provided by Café Twocann.

A big thank you to my sister for a very enjoyable birthday gift. Sadly this workshop was a one-off put on by the Mission Gallery taking advantage of Julie Arkell being in Swansea for the opening of her exhibition, but I would recommend catching her exhibition in the next few weeks.

For future exhibitions and workshops sign up for Mission Gallery updates at www.missiongallery.co.uk

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