Textile Art Exhibitions

‘My Ladies’ Chambers’

March 2017, Birnam Institute, Dunkeld

This exhibition, put together by artist Jeanette Sendler of Hat in the Cat, reflects on a selection of fictional ladies’ wardrobes or dressing rooms, based both on the traditional tastes and techniques of the times and on contemporary making techniques used in her studio today, such as millinery and tailoring. The fictional narratives enhance and inspire the work, producing a theatrical spectacle which is both intimate and timeless.

My Ladies' Chambers Exhibition Dunkeld 2017

Cutting Through Time

4 February – 3 March 2012, Collins Gallery, Glasgow

Jeanette Sendler’s work is inspired by the complexity of the evolution of paper pattern cutting that began in Victorian times.

This series of installations was placed in a fictitious tailor’s studio. Across the space were fragments of flat pattern pieces evolving from two to three dimensional sculptural pieces, and a three dimensional ‘mountain’ of body shapes, visualising the complexity for the maker, and the apparent madness or chaos to the untrained eye. This was the culmination of the body of work begun at the University of Dundee; see The Golden Rule below.

Cutting Through Time Collins Gallery Glasgow 2012

Mapping the Body

23 April – 12 June 2011 Timespan, Helmsdale

During her one-week residency in Helmsdale, Jeanette established a number of strong visual links between her most recent work and what she discovered at Timespan. She was particularly inspired by a series of old maps of the geographical area taken from the archives. Working with the marks and lines contained in these maps, she drew parallels between them and the marks of a paper pattern, designed to map the body. Jeanette discovered that although a number of tailors had lived in the areas over the past 200 years, very little knowledge of local patterns had survived. Never the less, in Timespan’s collection were two surviving gowns. The gown here was evidence of both its maker and wearer; the stitching showing the makers hand, and the marks on the thinning fabric of the wearer, literally maps of the body.

Mapping the Body Timespan Helmsdale 2011

wabi sabi – nothing is perfect, nothing is finished and nothing lasts

14 – 22 January 2012, Patriot Gallery@Wasps, Edinburgh.

Frayed Edges is a group of Edinburgh based textile artists, who met through studying at Edinburgh College of Art, Drummond Community High School and Telford College and also work as individual artists and makers. Members of the group have backgrounds in other fine art media, including tapestry, book binding and printmaking, as well as in teaching a variety of textile media.

Wabisabi Exhibition Poster Patriot Gallery Edinburgh 2012

The Golden Rule

9 – 27 June 2010 Innovation & Creative Development in Craft, University of Dundee, Dalhousie Building.

The body as a blank canvas: an investigation into historical aspects of pattern cutting in relation to individuality in contemporary clothing. Project supported by Creative Scotland.

The exhibition then went to Timespan, Helmsdale 23 April – 12 June 2011.

Seven Minutes of Explosion

April – May 2008. The Scord Quarry Scalloway, Shetland

A collaboration between Jeanette Sendler and Barbara Ridland. Da Gadderie, Shetland Museum & Archives, Lerwick, Shetland.

“7 Minutes of Explosion” is the period of time from the sounding of the quarry siren to signal that the shot is about to be fired, to the sounding of the “all clear” once it has been decided that the blast has gone well and it is safe to return into the quarry. Billy Butler, Scord Quarry Manager 2008

On seeing the quarry for the first time one sees a mass of grey, especially on a grey day. But the eye adjusts. Soon one can discern many greys, then, as one can appreciate the detail of a black and white photograph, a beauty of subtlety opens up.

7 Minutes of Explosion The Scord Quarry Scalloway, Shetland

Stitched Up

16th January – 3rd March 2007. Crescent Arts, Scarborough.

An Exploration of Contemporary Textile Art. Jeanette exhibited two installations: Frozen in Time and Finding Your Way Home.

StitchedUp Exhibition Crescent Arts Scarborough


October 2006 Collins Gallery, University of Strathclyde.

Edinburgh based DesignEd staged an exhibition with recycling as the core theme. Eleven artists collaborated to produce work using wholly recycled materials. Jeanette exhibited two installations.

Frozen in Time Collins Gallery Glasgow 2006

Frozen in Time

As a former costume designer / ladies tailor, Jeanette here finds herself not constructing garments but fragmenting them.

The focus for this work was basic elements such as threads and fasteners. Working in a new medium to her, the original card backing to new thread was forged out of glass to bring new light into a forgotten sewing box. When such thread cards were common, there was a strong imperative to recycle. Basic cardboard scraps and paper would be reused to contain and organise remnants, ends of threads, buttons and other precious bits and bobs.

Tree Skins Collins Gallery Glasgow 2006

Tree Skins
Rescued from the compost heap for this exhibition and truly in the recycling theme, Jeanette exhibited her Tree Skins for a third time. Originally clothing the trees of the Hillier Arboretum in Hampshire for a year in 2002 and again, a little more decomposed inside the Royal Beatrice Gallery. Finally, they were ‘installed’ on the compost heap completing the cycle of a truly recyclable art form.

Felt and Nostalgia

March 2006. Jeanette Sendler and ‘Mixing Fibres’ (Collective)  WASPS Patriothall Gallery, Edinburgh

Felt and Nostalgia was an exhibition of work by 13 experienced felt makers which evolved from a weekend of felt making in September 2005. Jeanette was invited to lead the group through the process of developing pieces based the theme of nostalgia.

Felt and Nostalgia Patriot Hall Gallery Edinburgh 2006

From 1929 Drummond Community High School was a school for trading and commerce. Later it turned into a secondary school and the adult education program was introduced. Jeanette’s work focused on needle work, one of the subjects taught alongside shorthand, housewifery, metal work, woodwork and other technical subjects.

A series of hand felted aprons portrayed details of writing and stitch work related to the former school called Bellevue School of Trading and Commerce. The apron pockets were filled with the tools and threads of the past. Each apron represents shell or skin of a past pupil. Monograms on faded cotton suggest former owners of the garments. The work was inspired by a series of photographs reflecting pupils that have gone through the system both previously and at present.

In parallel to the exhibition each artist delivered workshops relating to their practice. Jeanette explored the history and current use of hooks and eyes, poppers, pins, velcro and some long forgotten stitches.

Sense of Identity

22 June – 2 July 2006 Contemporary Scottish Textiles (Joint exhibition) Museum of Arts & Crafts, Itami, Japan

‘Finding your way home’ was an installation conceptualising the term ‘Moder Dy’ (The Mother Wave). The ‘Moder Dy’, a skill no longer used, was a method used by Shetland fishermen to use the patterns in the waves to navigate their way home. Fishermen’s wives estimated their husbands’ return by the amount of yarn they had knitted. The work was inspired by Shetland’s waters and the men’s mastery of them, reinventing a sense of Shetland’s old traditions of timekeeping and navigation.

Sense of Identity Museum of Arts & Crafts, Itami, Japan 2006

Love Letters and Love Nesters

24 September 2003 for 3 weeks at Sv. Jono Gatves Gallerija Sv. Jono Str.11, VILNIUS, Lithuania

This site specific exhibition explores poignant themes such as the unborn, growth, transformation and death. Using fibres as a Poet might use ink, pen and paper, Jeanette created the poetry of love and life. Letters, poems and words have been recurring themes in her work.

A ‘Lifeline’ threaded its way though the wonderful interconnecting arched rooms of the Sv. Jono Gatves Gallerija. The visitor was taken on a metaphorical journey though Jeanette’s life and work of the previous five years.

Love Letters and Love Nesters Sv. Jono Gatves Gallerija  VILNIUS Lithuania 2003

Felt and Sound

3rd-6th April 2003. A collaboration with musician and singer Yvonne Burgess.

Developed from a workshop / installation in Ayr in 2002 on the occasion of the International Felt Association Conference “April in Ayr” in Auchencrieve. The workshop for experienced felt-makers was designed to ‘explore the relationship between touch / sensation and sound.

Felt and Sound Workshop Collaboration 2003

“It was an original, stimulating and refreshing experience. The whole workshop was focused on releasing intuitive responses in enjoyable and different ways. We changed partners and took turns to wear a blindfold and, in response to two more pieces of music we instructed each other as to the colours and forms we were imagining. This was a brilliant exercise in clarity and communication.

I take my hat off to Jeanette and Yvonne, who taught and planned so carefully to produce a seamless and shapely event that can be adapted to suit any group. They worked together harmoniously and often almost invisibly, responding where they were needed, and leading us surely where they wanted us to go. I certainly won’t forget this lesson in creativity and trusting my instincts.”

Participant: Sara Macaulay