Threads: Taking Up Needles and Yarn

16 Mar 2017 – 1 Apr 2017

Regular hours

13:00 – 18:00
13:00 – 18:00
13:00 – 18:00

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C4RD - Centre for Recent Drawing

England, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 38,4,19
  • Highbury and Islington
  • Highbury and Islington
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Works by Celia Pym and Diana Taylor, two contemporary artists who use textiles as part of their practice.



The Centre for Recent Drawing is pleased to present works by two contemporary artists who use textiles as part of their practice.

The artists are linked by their awareness of ruin and impermanence; Pym seeks to fill holes and repair worn items, while Taylor’s work uses images of ancient objects and architecture which have been eroded by time. Both artists share a fascination with museum collections and objects left behind from past civilisations.

This is intuitive work; Pym is guided by shifting the dimensions of individual threads, and Taylor driven by images on layers of textile, both building their own new stratigraphy. The movement of the hand in stitching thread into canvas and knitting a swatch has a shared lineage with the fluidity of the hand-drawn line. 

In Taylor’s work, images of Ancient Cypriot grave goods are reduced to their most simple tonal forms, screen-printed onto bare canvas and stitched into. Machine sewn lines follow geographical plans from the Ancient site of Kourion, which is in Cyprus where the artists mother is from. Interlaced with these plans are grids, which are those often used for needlework and cross-stitch patterns. On top of these layers sits cross stitching, reproducing patterns found in mosaic borders and found fabrics with bold digital prints. Taylor grew up surrounded by her mothers’ tapestries, embroideries and cross-stitch pictures, which now seep into her work.

Colour Work is a new piece by Pym centred around colour and pattern and persistence and practice, and inspired by the irregularity of pattern she encounters in darning. Using Jamieson's DK and Shetland Spindrift yarn, wool traditionally used for Fair Isle knitting she knits rectangles of pattern without a precise plan. She is guided by numbers (3-1-3), by a feeling of trying not to look at what she knits, just counting stitches, and keeping her eyes up. Often finding that one piece of knitting would influence the next, Pym changes the thickness of stripes or the lean of the diagonal. As she progressed, the main thing was exhausting the colours, knitting until the colour was all used up.

Celia Pym studied Sculpture at Harvard University and Textiles at The Royal College of Art, London. Selected exhibitions & collaborations include: Love the Yarn: Festival of Love with Lasmin Salmon, 2015, Royal Festival Hall Southbank Centre, London; What Do I Need to do to Make it OK?, 2015-2018 Pump House Gallery, London, and touring; 59 Sorties, 2016, with Nouveau Musee National de Monaco; Parallel Practices Residency (Crafts Council/Kings Cultural Institute), 2014-2016, with Dr Richard Wingate exploring anatomy and mending in KCL’s Dissecting Room. She lives and works in London.

Diana Taylor graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art (2010) with an M.F.A in Painting. She was awarded the Abbey Scholarship in Painting at the British School at Rome in 2011. Other residencies include East London Printmakers, CCA Andratx, and Modern Art Oxford, during which her painting practise expanded to combine needlework hangings. In 2015 she was shortlisted for the Dazed/Converse Emerging Artist Award and recent exhibitions include Part 5, lm6a project room and Collaborators 4, ROOM Artspace.

Centre for Recent Drawing

London’s museum space for drawing - a member of the Museum Association of the UK and a UK Registered Charity. Founded as an artist project in 2004, C4RD has since provided a public exhibition series, residencies, talks, publications and encouraged production towards independent and non-commercial aims; C4RD is in the unique position of being able to provide a whole building dedicated to drawing - showing continuous exhibitions of a broad variety of drawing practice - and also be able to house residencies specifically for those for whom drawing is a core part of their practice.


Alice Bygraves is a freelance curator who has over eight years’ experience working in museums and galleries. She spent two years working at the British School at Rome with artists and took part in archaeological excavations. She is Director of Geddes Gallery, a nomadic space which was first housed in KC Continental deli on Caledonian Road.

For more information and images please contact Alice Bygraves:



Alice Bygraves

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Diana Taylor

Celia Pym


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