Addressing Space: Annette Collinge

I have a scientific background which has no bearing on my current practice. It leaves me with an attention to detail which means that if I am asked to stitch a conventional embroidery, I am offended by the slightest variation from a line or inaccuracy of a stitch. So, I don’t stitch conventionally and restrict my embroidery to straight stitches, buttonhole stitch and French knots, the latter being the only stitch that I treat with accuracy. The others flow from my imagination as I experience the pleasure of stitching into fabric and paper, taking the lines wherever they will go. 

Although in the past I have enjoyed the freedom and expressiveness that machine embroidery brings and the pleasure I gain from making paper, stitching it and creating 3 dimensional forms; I have decided to concentrate my practice on hand stitching and using recycled materials. I like to recycle old woollen blankets by dyeing them and incorporating them into pictorial panels which often resemble a log cabin quilt with a central panel printed on to fabric of a photograph from my travels or from my current theme which is ‘Addressing Space’. I include found objects in my work all of which have meaning to me, from plastic bricks and little toys found in a derelict stable on my son’s farm, to plastic waste on an uninhabited island in the Pacific Island, which brought home to me the extent of man’s damage to the environment. Sometimes, a bright spot of colour attracts me in an unexpected place. The spot is usually a piece of discarded plastic. I photograph it in situ, bring it home with me and incorporate it in my work. The fabrics I use in my work are mostly natural fabrics, cotton, linen and silk. I love vintage fabrics and fabrics which remind me of my family; name tapes, worn jeans and even bandages, which take dye beautifully. I am a great fan of hot iron transfer designs from the mid 20th century. I am a colourful person. Colour is very important to me and my work. 


Bumpy, ideas, stone.  Three words connected to my home of 30 years in Woking.  Ideas flash around my head, in this case, concentrating on the space viewed through a hole in a stone.  Moving to a new house has indeed been a bumpy ride.

Dyed blanket felt, found objects, meaningful fabrics, hand embroidery, digital print on fabric. £350.00, studio21textileart/annette-collinge

text ©Annette Collinge, images ©Jonathan Dredge and Annette Collinge.

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