Wednesday, March 16, 2016

SEW Regional Day - Meet the Speakers, Diana Springall

The Madeira Lecture: Contemporary Embroidery and the Relevance of Drawing

Diana Springall is amongst the most well-known of all British textile artists. Her work is found in many private and public collections including the Embroiderers’ Guild.

Letting the Days Go By by Jane Poulton
© Diana Springall Collection

Following her training as a painter, Diana soon realised the importance of adding craft skills to her teaching career, in particular, embroidery. At the start of the 1960’s, as a passionate teacher and practicing embroider, she made scores of 35mm slides for her students to share but knew that nothing could them more them more than enabling them to see and handle the real thing. Thus, Diana began to collect examples of contemporary embroidery by graduate students, and her colleagues and peers. Most were purchased for modest sums, but many were an agreement of exchange and in several significant cases have been gives.

The Cinnamon Tree by Virina Warren
© Diana Springall Collection

What Diana saw in the building of this resource was one that would allow me, at very short notice, to show those who questioned me with the words “what do you mean by embroidery?” she could reply by say “I will show you”.

On My Window Sill by Diana Springall
© Diana Springall Collection

Diana’s talk will be about the textile artists of the last sixty years who have pursued the subject with professional passion. Their individuality can be seen to stem from a higher education system that valued the significance of observational drawing.

For more information on the SEW Regional Day and a booking form, please email

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