Chain reaction – narratives through drawing, collage and stitch with Matthew Harris

Art textiles

Ref: S3D11293

Join waiting list

Course full - scroll down for other

About this course

Explore the contrast of continuity and change through drawing, collage and stitch. Working on primed canvas from a collection of objects, develop a personal language, narrative and history through the interaction of making, materials and process to improve your art textiles.

Course Description

Working from a collection of personal objects, you will be looking at ways in which to generate a collection of visual material that has the potential to evolve and change along a three and a half metre length of cloth. Your starting point will be a collection of personal objects that you have acquired, inherited or collected. These don’t have to be exceptional objects; they may be ephemeral or throw away, or they might have strong associations or personal memories; they may form a group or be totally disconnected. What they must all share, however, are visual elements that excite and interest you; elements to do with colour, texture, pattern, form, material, etc.

Working with a range of materials and approaches, including drawing, painting, collage, applique, stitch, etc., you will extract and play with information from your objects through observation, repetition, distortion, fracturing, stretching, etc. Your piece of cloth will then evidence the process of this development along its entire length. This will be done by recording the working and re-working of ideas and approaches. In so doing, layers of information are laid down, worked over, re-shaped, hidden and revealed over three days, to create a rich palimpsest that becomes an object in its own right or one that forms the starting point for further ideas.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course a 3 metre length of calico and the acrylic size to work onto, and wax pellets and a wide brush to work with are included.

What students need to bring

  • A collection of personal objects, inherited, acquired, collected, rich in visual information.
  • A selection of wet and dry drawing materials including, coloured pencils, coloured inks, paint (acrylic, gouache or water colour)
  • dry pastels and or wax pastels.
  • A drawing nib or dip pen
  • A selection of brushes
  • Graphite pencils
  • Collage materials which can include coloured and textured papers, scrap images and fabric
  • PVA and a pot to mix it in.
  • Coloured threads, such as embroidery thread as well as any other type of yarn, ribbon etc
  • Different sized needles and pins
  • Scalpel or craft knife
  • Masking tape

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • All the above drawing materials are available in the college shop


Matthew Harris

Matthew Harris studied at Goldsmiths College and makes work in both paper and cloth that is primarily concerned with the exploration and exploitation of abstract imagery. Matthew has work in the Crafts Council Collection and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. He has exhibited throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Japan.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.