Approved: 09.09.2021

Stewart Kelly

Artist, Lecturer / academic, Researcher

Approved: 09.09.2021

“Stewart portrays through his work, through the symbolism of his line, the strands of our lives, strands that are both physical and sensory, materially commanding and emotionally poignant." - John Hopper, Inspirational 8.

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Artist Statement

“Stewart portrays through his work, through the symbolism of his line, the strands of our lives, strands that are both physical and sensory, materially commanding and emotionally poignant." - John Hopper, Inspirational 8.

Stewart Kelly MA, BA (Hons), PGCE, is an award winning, internationally recognised artist based in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Stewart graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fashion & Textiles Design from Liverpool John Moores University (2000), specialising in textile art and design. During his studies, Stewart exhibited and sold fabric designs with Indigo Salon at Premiere Vision in Paris. His clients included; Donna KaranRalph LaurenLauren VidalSahco Hesslein and Ralph Lauren Home Collection.

Following this, Stewart received an Arts & Humanities Research Board postgraduate award to study for an MA in Textiles at Manchester Metropolitan University (2002), specialising in fine art textiles. Since completing his studies, Stewart has established a profile as an international artist, showing his work in exhibitions across the United Kingdom, Europe, USA, Canada and China.

Throughout his career, Stewart has received several awards including, a Silver Medal at the 13th International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Artwith Scythia, in Ukraine (2020), an Excellence Award at From Lausanne to Beijing, 11th Fiber Art Biennale, in China (2020), and an Excellence Award at the State of Health: Illness, Recovery & Art, with Fiber Art Now, in the USA (2020).

Stewart’s work has featured in several international publications including the Surface Design Journal, Fiber Art Now, Textile Fibre Forum, Textile View and Cover Magazine. In addition, Stewart has published online interviews with ArteMorbidaExplore FiberTextile Artist, Textile Curator and Mr X Stitch.

Stewart is a member of the European Textile Network and the Surface Design Association.

Stewart's current practice research lies at the intersection of art, health and wellbeing. Through practice-based research, he is interested in reflecting on how the ritual of hand stitching can document emotional experiences. The intimacy of the medium itself, with the suggestion of repetitive touch, lends a poignancy to bodily associations, providing an intimate and ambiguous trace of the artist’s presence.

Making hand stitched textiles can be therapeutic, a crucial tool for reflection and developing self-awareness. Working on slow, reflective projects has allowed a better understanding of the connection between the self and the desire to make art. 

The work marks time, and chronicles emotional changes through the physical and reflective act of stitch. Subliminally, it conveys the concept of transformation in life, the importance of reflection, and the exploration of creativity as part of artistic identity.

CV & Education

Selected Exhibitions 

2021
Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
Beyond Boundaries, High Five Art, Baarle-Nassau, The Netherlands
10th International Biennial of Contemporary Mini Textile Art, Scythia, Ivano-Frankivs’k, Ukraine

2020
The Joy of Repetition, Unit Twelve Gallery, Staffordshire, UK
13th International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art, Scythia, Ivano-Frankivs’k, Ukraine
Talking Sense: The Changing Vocabulary of Mind and Brain, The Portico Library, Manchester, UK
From Lausanne to Beijing, 11th International Fiber Art Biennale, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Dream, 5th International Triennial of Textile Art, TexpoART, Victoria & Theodor Pallady Art Galleries, Iasi, Romania

2019
Hang Out, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
5th Triennial Textile Art of Today, Tatra Gallery, Poprad, Slovakia
Manifest Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
5th Triennial Textile Art of Today, Pesti Vigadó Gallery, Budapest, Hungary
5th Triennial Textile Art of Today, Historical Museum, Bielsko-Biala, Poland
5th Triennial Textile Art of Today, The Morovian Museum, Uherske Hradiste, Czech Republic
9th International Biennial of Contemporary Mini Textile Art, Scythia, Ivano-Frankivs’k, Ukraine
Small Works, Surface Design Association, Arcade Contemporary Art Projects, Webster University, St Louis, USA

2018
Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
12th International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art, Scythia, Ivano-Frankivs’k, Ukraine
5th Triennial Textile Art of Today, Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Bratislava, Slovakia
Fate, Destiny & Self Determination: An International Tapestry Project, Tuchmacher Museum, Bramsche, Germany
Fate, Destiny & Self Determination: An International Tapestry Project, Tuch + Technik Textilmuseum, Neumunster, Germany
Face to Face, World of Threads Festival, Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre, Oakville, Ontario, Canada (Solo)
Chaozhou International Embroidery Art Biennale, International Conference Center of Hanshan Normal University, Chaozhou, China
From Lausanne to Beijing10th International Fiber Art Biennale, Tsinghua University Art Museum, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Fate, Destiny & Self Determination: An International Tapestry Project, International Fibre Festival 2018, King House, Roscommon, Ireland

2017
Group Exhibition, Cupola Gallery, Sheffield, UK
Under the Bed Sale, Cupola Gallery, Sheffield, UK
Fantastic Fibers 2017, Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, USA
Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
Echo Chamber, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
Manifest Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
Fibremen, 6th International Exhibition of Contemporary Textile Art, Scythia, Ivano-Frankivs’k, Ukraine

2016
Traces, Hand & Lock, London, UK (Solo)
Process, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
Open Exhibition, Waterside Arts Centre, Cheshire, UK
Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
11th International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art, Scythia, Kherson, Ukraine

2015
Group Exhibition, Cupola Gallery, Sheffield, UK
Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
Bodyworks, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK (Solo)
Manifest Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
Fibremen, 5th International Exhibition of Contemporary Textile Art, Scythia, Kherson, Ukraine

2014
Traces, Bowery Gallery, Leeds, UK (Solo)
Group Exhibition, Cupola Gallery, Sheffield, UK
Human Clay Revisited, Studio Eleven Gallery, Hull, UK
Human Clay Revisited, The Ropewalk, Lincolnshire, UK
Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
The Studios #2: Drawing Possibilities, The Studios Gallery, Derbyshire, UK
The Bankley Christmas Pop Up, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK

2013
Life Lines, Unity Theatre, Liverpool, UK (Solo)
Group Exhibition, Cupola Gallery, Sheffield, UK
Life Lines, Turnpike Gallery, Lancashire, UK (Solo)
Group Exhibition, The Art Lounge, Derbyshire, UK
Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK

2012
Go Figure, Studio Eleven Gallery, Hull, UK
Made with Love, Studio Eleven Gallery, Hull, UK
Textiles & Mixed Media, Eggspace, Liverpool, UK
Life Lines, The Beetroot Tree, Derbyshire, UK (Solo)
Hospitality Re-Viewed, Baltic Creative, Liverpool, UK
60 Drawings, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
The Div/sion of Power, Fletcher Moss Art Gallery, Manchester, UK
Open Contemporary Art Exhibition, Stockport Art Gallery, Cheshire, UK
Lancashire & Yorkshire Craft Open Exhibition, Platform Gallery, Lancashire, UK

2011
Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
Life Lines, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, UK (Solo)
Open Contemporary Art Exhibition, Stockport Art Gallery, Cheshire, UK
Lancashire & Yorkshire Craft Open Exhibition, Platform Gallery, Lancashire, UK
Lines & Strata 2: Contemporary Welsh Drawing, Gwynedd Museum & Art Gallery, Wales, UK

2010
Crafted, Kirkby Gallery, Liverpool, UK
Open Studios, Bankley Studios & Gallery, Manchester, UK
Lines & Strata 2: Contemporary Welsh Drawing, Oriel Mwldan, Wales, UK
Lines & Strata 2: Contemporary Welsh Drawing, White Lion Street Gallery, Wales, UK
Lines & Strata 2: Contemporary Welsh Drawing, Denbigh Museum & Art Gallery, Wales, UK

Awards

2020 Excellence Award, From Lausanne to Beijing, 11th Fiber Art Biennale, China
2020 Excellence Award, State of Health: Illness, Recovery & Art, Fiber Art Now, USA
2020 Silver Medal, 13th International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art, Scythia, Ukraine
2001 Postgraduate Study Award, Arts & Humanities Research Council, UK

Qualifications

2006 PGCE (Further, Higher & Adult Education), Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
2002 MA Textiles, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
2000 BA (Hons) Fashion & Textiles Design, Liverpool John Moores University, UK

Training

2009 Foundation Course in Art Therapy, British Association of Art Therapists, UK
2008 Introduction to Art Therapy, British Association of Art Therapists, UK
2007 ABC Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Concepts, Manchester Adult Education Service, UK

Membership

European Textile Network, www.etn-net.org
Bankley Studios & Gallery, www.bankley.org.uk
Surface Design Association, www.surfacedesign.org