Alice Kettle, A Collection of Early Works: Pulchinella, 1988 and Six Nymphs, 1988

Pulchinella, 1988 was Kettle's first large scale work and represents a significant moment in her practice. It references "Polichinelle", the 1962 Edith Piaf song from album Les Amants De Teruel; "Polichinelle"and in particular the lyrics in translation (see below).


The dense stitching covers the entire surface as was typical of Kettle’s early work and this work signifies a step change in the confidence in her practice and in herself.


These works relate to the Three Caryatids (1989-91) by Kettle shown in Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles at Two Temple Place, London in 2020. 


The Six Nymphs were shown at 1988 Tex-styles, Smiths Gallery, Covent Garden, London and won the Taittinger prize.

Pull the strings

of the puppet,

now beware


for I might well

cut myself free

from the invisible threads

that bind me to you.


As I break the spell

I recover a soul.

I am a woman again.

I am myself again.