The Needle's Art

A decorative crest embroidered in black on a grey canvas

The Needle’s Art: Contemporary work by students and tutors of Ornamental Embroidery

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   20 November 2021 – 30 January 2022 

 Blackwell Hall, Weston Library
Proscholium, Old Bodleian Library

This display has now closed

A display of contemporary embroidery inspired by a 16th century Tudor pattern book, containing: stylised pictures of trees, plants and animals
in alphabetical sequences, with other designs.

The display featured a selection of items, from sewing accoutrements, books covers and domestic furnishings to garments and accessories, worked in a variety of materials and stitch techniques. 

Lead image: Blackwork by Clare Lobb, 2020

Explore more

 Look at the embroidery in more detail in this downloadable slideshow

Stories inspired by a Tudor pattern book

As part of the Needles Art exhibition a series of short films were recorded by Helicon Storytelling.

Each film contains a story inspired and devised in the same manner as the embroidery on display – by using the Tudor pattern book M.S Ashmole 1504.

Helicon Storytelling have scoured the manuscript for their favourite settings and characters and have used these as the building blocks to create their very own, Tudor-style stories, including foolish wishes, ferocious beasts, folklore
remedies and fearless heroes.

Watch the playlist here or on our YouTube channel.


Now it’s your turn – explore the manuscript, choose your favourite illustrations, and use them to create something yourself, whether that’s stitching, drawing or perhaps storytelling.

The storytelling videos have been generously supported by The Helen Hamlyn Trust

The Helen Hamlyn Trust logo

Events related to this display

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