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Rosalind Wyatt| The Stitch Lives of London

“Rosalind’s stitched garments are the most exquisite and compelling artworks, not simply for their rich visual quality but in the way they present a personal narrative of a particular historic time.”

Richard Rodgers , British Architect (Lord Rodgers of Riverside)

Rosalind Wyatt is a celebrated a calligrapher and textile artist. She is currently working on “The Stitch Lives of London”, an art textile installation that incorporates historical garments and artefacts that tell the story of London in Stitch.

This walk will commence at Rosalind’s studio, lit by the light that comes from her south facing garden and off the Thames. There Rosalind will discuss about the technique of ‘writing with a needle’ but also feeling part of a tradition of craft without being bound by it.

Guests will gain insight into this fascinating project as Rosalind demonstrates her finished work. The first piece for THE STITCH LIVES OF LONDON, narrates in embroidered calligraphy the story of Mary Pearse, a London pauper in the early C19th, a the troubled daughter of a shoemaker. Rosalind’s canvas? A pair of exquisite Edwardian silk satin dancing shoes, a pair Mary was probably never rich enough to wear- but which her own father might have made.

The completed work will feature up to 100 metres long, the form of this will duplicate the ‘path and winde’ of The River Thames using 215 pieces to mark its length in miles.London, and the life that the Thames breeds, feeds into what Rosalind does and is, and she’ll endeavour to show us how.

The walk will end at Annie’s for refreshments and nibbles.

  • About the talk/speaker
  • Rosalind was brought up nearby in Bedford Park (before it got all posh and gentrified). It was one of the first garden suburbs, along with Hampstead and she lived in a Norman Shaw house, which her parents renovated from scratch. Her original training was calligraphy which was enlivened in the 19/20th century by Edward Johnston who lived in Hammersmith mall along with his buddies of the Arts and Craft movement. In 2011, Rosalind met with Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, OBE and explained to her THE STITCH LIVES OF LONDON project. Baroness Lawrence handed Rosalind's her son's running- top. Stephen, a victim of a racist attack, had a love of running, and his mother wanted to celebrate his running achievements, his awards, and his enjoyment of life. When Doreen saw the completed garment, she said ‘Yes, Stephen would have liked that’.