Some people might know that Ann Sutton was given an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list* this year (2022) for her services to the arts. In my view, this is not before time!!!
Ann Sutton has, and continues to be, an inspirational light in the weaving world, not least because she’s been there and been doing that for so long. She is one of our longest-serving influential leaders challenging what weaving is and what you can do with it. She’s still doing that at the age of 87. Insatiable curiosity is something that lights the fire in the belly of anyone who feels it! She gets up every morning to see what the materials that she is currently working with will tell her.
She’s not been shy to pioneer the use of new technology and materials, just as Ethel Mairet, Peter Collingwood and others did before her. She’s also a great educator, sharing her knowledge and innovative ideas through her books, including The Structure of Weaving, Ideas in Weaving, Colour-and-Weave Design, Tablet Weaving, The Craft of the Weaver, The Textiles of Wales, and British Craft Textiles. She has also edited Falcott’s Weave Companion which is a source book for textile designers as well as weavers because, although a weaver in her core (as indicated by the title of the video documentary below), she has also worked in other textile techniques and many readers might be familiar with her knitted pieces from the 1960s/70s. She’s also worked with stitching, crochet and mixed media as well as paint.
Last Friday, the British Library hosted a free showing of a wonderful documentary on Ann. Thanks to Wendy Morris for this link… https://www.bl.uk/events/ann-sutton-in-words-and-film. You can watch the trailer here and on Ann’s site: http://annsutton.org/ but to view the whole documentary you will need to hire it on Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/mybonesarewoven
It’s well worth the 1h 13 mins (even if you are a Strictly Come Dancing fan :^)). And you’ll get to visit the Shetland isle that is home to the looms and collection from the Ann Sutton Foundation as well as take a look behind the scenes and into the brain of an amazing artist.
You can also download a catalogue of her exhibition which was held at the beautiful Roche Court New Art Centre at East Winterslow in Wiltshire, UK. Here’s the link for that: https://www.sculpture.uk.com/ann-sutton-on-from-weaving-a-survey
“If you have fun, it shows.”
Hats off to Ann Sutton!!