I am finally making use of the a-n Artists Bursary I was awarded way back in January this year. The Covid-19 lockdown really messed up my year but due to the bursary and some stabilisation funding from Arts Council of Wales National Lottery Good Causes, I have been able to progress with my work.

The lockdown made it all the more important to understand better the requirements of coding scripts for Raspberry Pi and Arduino. The need to move from interactivity with my tapestry weaving through touch/direct contact to proximity sensing was obvious as I expect the audience is going to be reluctant for multiple people to be touching the same surfaces for some time to come.

It is a challenge for me but one I enjoy and the possibilities for different means of engaging and interacting with the audience while working with tapestry weaving and sound is immensely exciting.

The images below show the final stage of updating the conductive thread “wiring” on the back of my tapestry “INTERCONNECTION” and a video of the original making of this tapestry can be found on Vimeo and with others on my website.

“INTERCONNECTION” originally had light sensors as proximity sensors but due to varying lighting conditions in different galleries, these proved problematic. So now I am using conductive thread and in future will also use conductive fabric.

Supported by a-n The Artists Information Company

Supported by Arts Council of Wales National Lottery Good Causes


Firstly, the exhibition that is re-opening and running for an extended period is the Fabric of the North show at Kirkleatham Hall Museum in Redcar. It opens again on 18th May and will run until the end of 2021. My tapestries will only be there until October.

The first of the two new tapestries are “from the PUP” which will be on exhibition as part of the BTG Threads in Sheds show at Whitchurch Silk Mill from 11th September- 21st November 2021 and then Farfield Mill in Sedburgh from 5th January – 27th March 2022.

The second of the new tapestries is another interactive audio work for the Solway Branch of the British Tapestry Group exhibition at Gracefield Arts Centre from 11th September – 30th November 2021

Short videos and more information about both these tapestries can be found on my Sound and Weave page.

Supported by a-n The Artists Information Company


Stop, start, stop, start, hesitate, consider, wonder, decide, change, update, progress.

That could describe this past year with pandemic lockdowns and it has been stressful.

However, due to the a-n Artists Bursary and Arts Council of Wales National Lottery Good Causes funding I received, I have been able to carry on developing my work and make progress both in the area of interactivity technology (thanks again a-n) and, produce new work for exhibition and develop design ideas for further interactive work.

I am still not quite finished my Electric Brae tapestry (see previous post) as I had to break off from that in order to weave another piece for submission to The British Tapestry Group exhibition Threads in Sheds. This is another small tapestry, from the PUP, with the design based around illusion, a tapestry which I can see being made in another version on a much larger scale and with interactive sound. The tapestry needed to include silk as the exhibition is being hosted initially by Whitchurch Silk Mill in Hampshire. I hope my tapestry is accepted for this.

While I have not finished the weaving of the Electric Brae tapestry, I have managed to progress with the audio interactive element of the work, producing a manipulated audio track to accompany the work. You can listen to this on Bandcamp (headphone recommended) along with other works such as Metamorphosis, produced for my tapestry of the same name.

Further progress has been made, and this as a result of the Covid-19 lockdowns! In December/January I delivered a series of masterclasses via Zoom in designing for sound and weave. I learned as much from this as anyone else with regard to the use of Zoom to deliver workshops. Having now attended numerous Zoom sessions and held multiple meetings on that platform, I then took some very useful training in the delivery of practical workshops online.

This will come in very handy when providing the sessions I have been invited to deliver to different groups to accompany exhibitions and as part of a Summit in the US for freelance educators and organisations on Perception in the Environment – Interpreting Water. Exciting stuff!


As we go into the New Year, 2021, I have been making decisions repeatedly about how I should proceed with the tapestry currently on my loom. The design development is based on a painting by Gordon Perfect’s painting “Electric Brae”, held in the Scottish Art Collection at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfires and Galloway.

My tapestry will be part of an exhibition there by the Solway branch of the British Tapestry Group later in 2021. They invited me to take part as I come from that neck of the woods. The criteria for the work was to respond to a selected work in the art collection but not to make a copy of it.

I selected this painting because not only do I like its colours and the textures created by Perfect’s handling of the brush, but also because I have a strong memory of experiencing the illusion of the phenomenon known as the Electric Brae near Ayr on Scotland’s west coast. The challenge for me was to find a way of representing the original work as a tapestry whilst also referencing my own experience of the subject – hence the in depth decision making.

I am not showing my design at this stage (other than the detail above) but can say that the tapestry will have an interactive audio element to it and one of the materials I am using is conductive thread. I am being helped with this aspect of the work by the funding I received as an Artists Bursary from a-n the Artists Information Company. The rest of my time spent on the work is also funded by a Stabilisation Fund grant from the Arts Council of Wales National Lottery Good Causes.

The technology aspect of this tapestry will most likely use the conductive thread linked to a Raspberry Pi and PiCap from Bare Conductive. However, as each interactive tapestry I make is a unique design I find that there are always new decisions to be made and new things to learn with regard to the coding and use of this hardware in order to meet my needs.

And so the a-n Artists Bursary and ACW funding acknowledged below have been, and continue to be, invaluable to me.

Supported by an Artists Bursary from a-n The Artists Information Company and a Stabilisation Fund grant from the Arts Council of Wales National Lottery Good Causes.


INTERCONNECTION and Metamorphosis, two of my large audio interactive tapestries were installed last week in Kirkleatham Hall Museum as part of the Fabric of the North exhibition and all ended as it should . . . after following Plan B, my backup plan!

The a-n Artists Bursary I received earlier this year is being used to gain more experience with coding and using Raspberry Pi and Arduino computer technology. What I have found on a couple of occasions now, is that what you make work in the studio does not necessarily work in a new setting such as a gallery. Hence the importance of having a Plan B.

On this occasion Plan B was to allow the computers to run 24/7 as they are designed to do.  I only had to ask the gallery staff to switch the sound bars off at the end of the day and on again at opening time.

Also, while I was able to connect to the gallery wifi, as it was an open public network, I found I could not connect to the Raspberry Pis remotely. So if there any glitches between now and when the exhibition ends on 31st January, I will need to negotiate a different remote connection with Redcar Cleveland Borough Council. Distance and covid would restrict my ability to fix things directly on site.

Ah! It’s a steep learning curve, but as long as I keep climbing it I’ll get there eventually. And all made possible with the a-n Artists Bursary – thank you a-n.

Supported by an Artists Bursary from a-n The Artists Information Company and a Stabilisation Fund grant from the Arts Council of Wales National Lottery Good Causes.