Stitched Time

Stitched Time: Xuan paper, moving image projection, thread, dimensions variable (height 120cm)

A collaboratively produced work which involved a making process suggestive of an assembly line-cum-sewing circle and which encompassed conversation, laughter and moments of silence, as well as the practised movements of hands at work.

Stitched Time was presented in Margate from 14-23 November 2014. The exhibition in Margate closed with a celebratory meal for all involved on a very wet Sunday evening.

The project was initiated and organised by Clare Smith and made possible thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of fellow artists: Gwen Hedley, Rosie James, Joanna Jones, Claire ManningRuth PayneLinda Simon and Bev Williams and all the contributors to the accompanying zine: Julie Brixey-WilliamsLaura CadmanNatalie DowseHelen FrankRuth GeldardJill GibsonSue GoughGwen Hedley, Daniel Hughes, Rosie JamesJoanna Jones,Louise JonesEric LesdemaJayne LloydBethan Lloyd WorthingtonClaire ManningIsabella Martin, Helen Mayer, Tania McCormack, Kate Murdoch, Clare Smith, Susan TruselerFrieda van de Poll, Bev Williams, Rachel WoollerCatherine Wynne-Paton.

Videos: Ewan Golder and Clare Smith

It was supported by Arts Council England.

Stitched Time on tour:

The work was shown in Folkestone from 3 – 7 March 2015 as part of the Folkestone WOW Women of the World festival.

Stitched Time was shown in Coventry on 4 December 2015 in an exhibition to accompany  Drawing Conversations, a symposium reflecting on collective and collaborative drawing experiences.


Stitched Time is a seriously good show. The space is so appropriate for your work and the standout element is its performative, participatory nature. (Cathy Rogers)

(Limbo, Margate)

The stitching is calligraphically revealing of its process, and the work becomes a repository for things like; handedness, hand pressure, play, speed, tiredness, mistakes even boredom. And it is the mistakes particularly, that make the scrolls beautiful also the unfinished parts and gorgeous red, side-fringe of loose ends, which lends the gravitas of ancient manuscripts. (Ruth Geldard)

(Limbo, Margate)

It was a pleasure for Limbo to host Stitched Time. By the time the project came to us it was clear that it had created strong bonds between the participants, and that for each of them and visitors to the show the work had a multitude of meanings: For some it was in the formation of the social bond, for others it was space for contemplation. Many people commented on the presence of the maker’s ‘hand’ in the individual pieces.
For me there were a few interesting aspects of the show which it would have been interesting to explore further. The idea of factory-line dynamics and the parallels that can be drawn with collaborative artistic practice, particularly within a specific community and history, was hinted at interestingly. Conversely, the scrolls themselves, bearing a strong connection with Clare’s own studio work, had a powerful formal presence which could have operated without the exhibition giving any sense of context or the making of the work. (Matthew de Pulford)

(Limbo, Margate)