Professor Alice Kettle (b. 1961) is an internationally renowned, pioneering artist whose work is regarded as boundary breaking and contemporary. “Alice Kettle has established a unique area of practice in stitch, consistently and on an unparalleled scale.” V&A Museum.
The appointment comes at a time when Kettle’s work will again be in the public eye. This November, ten of her significant pieces can be seen in her hometown at the Winchester Discovery Centre in Alice Kettle: Threads. The exhibition marks the ten-year anniversary since it first commissioned her to create her public art piece, Looking Forward to the Past (2007). Here, she also previews Sea, the first of a new body of work called Thread Bearing Witness, which sees Kettle working in partnership with refugees, including displaced women artists, to create a new series of her renowned monumental textiles. The full body of work is currently in creation, and will be exhibited at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester next year.
To complement this mini-retrospective, Alice Kettle: More Threads will be held simultaneously at Candida Stevens Gallery, Chichester. Here visitors can view previously unseen and recently created work, including Sunbathers (2017), made by Alice for GOOD NATURE, at the gallery earlier this year, two pieces from her Schiffili series, made in 2006 on machines that no longer exist, two of her three dimensional heads for which she is widely recognised and her iconic piece Hermes and the Lotus Eaters, 2003. In addition, the gallery is to host an event at which the artist will be in conversation with Simon Martin, Director of Pallant House Gallery about her work and practices.
To celebrate Kettle’s important creative success and unique practice, the gallery has also produced a new publication Alice Kettle, Threads & More Threads. It features critical writing by 12 contributors, with observations and comments on her work, approach and ideas. High quality reproductions of works from each exhibition will be included, together with a newly commissioned portrait by photographer Dan Stevens.
“I am delighted to represent such an influential and widely-respected contemporary British artist. Alice is a pioneer, working in textiles on an unprecedented scale, whose art I have long admired. To work with her in this capacity will be an enriching experience, and a privilege”. Candida Stevens, Curator
Kettle’s career spans over 30 years, in which time her boundary breaking art, expressed through the medium of stitch, has become widely celebrated, exhibited and studied. She has work in international public collections including; Ararat Art Gallery, Victoria, Australia, Belger Collection, Kansas City, USA, St Mary’s College, Baltimore, USA, The Embroiderers’ Guild, NSW, Australia, Museo International delle Arti Applicate Oggi, Turin, Italy, Museum of Decorative Art and Design, Riga, Latvia. Public Collections in the UK include; The Crafts Council, London, The Whitworth Gallery, Manchester, The Prudential Collection, The Broadgate Club, London, Hampshire Museums Service, Manchester Metropolitan University.
Her works are often monumental in scale and distinctive for her painterly backgrounds, energy of line and repeated gestures inspired by her Tutors Mali Morris and Terry Frost. Kettle regularly comments that textile art allowed her to “…discover her creative voice”.
Kettle comments “Candida Stevens Gallery have a great understanding of my work and have always been very supportive of my creative process. To have them as my representative gallery in the UK will be a very positive partnership”.