Alice Kettle is internationally renowned for being a pioneer of her art form, with an application and process that makes her a unique creator and maker of art. Her work is regarded as boundary breaking and contemporary in its process, yet it also evokes a deep sense of the fundamental with its themes. Kettle depicts contemporary events and the experience of being in the world in her stitched tales, which spring from mythology and storytelling. She draws references from the history of figurative textiles and monumental narrative tapestry. In Kettle’s narratives these allusions tell of her own encounters, of transformative experiences and the continual process of growth, renewal, change, decay, and the counterpoints of tragedy and hope. Her approach is immersed in the relationship we as humans have with nature, the world and each other. “We are part of the material world as physical beings” she says “… implicated in a generative cycle of relationships”.
“Alice Kettle has established a unique area of practice in stitch, consistently and on an unparalleled scale.” V&A Museum.
Her fine art training at the University of Reading, links her to an influential generation of contemporary painters such as Terry Frost, Mali Morris and Albert Irvin, all of whom were her tutors. You can see the legacy of their work present in her mark-making, colour and energy of line. Yet, unlike theirs her work is largely figurative. Turning to textiles after her time at Goldsmith’s, Kettle’s work contributes to a tradition of thread narrative in Britain, which began in the 11th century with the Bayeux tapestry, and with the histories of women who have long communicated their lives and experiences through textile work.
Alice Kettle has work in 23 International Public Collections.
Making It - Watch Alice Kettle at work on her Odyssey Series for Southampton City Art Gallery, on display in the Barring Room until 9 March 2019
Fine Art, BA (Hons) University of Reading
Textile Art (Postgraduate Diplomat), Goldsmiths’ College, University of London