Mapping your space – new narratives in paper and cloth with Cas Holmes

Art textiles

Ref: S4D11472

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About this course

Create new forms of mixed media paper and textile based work which reference a journey. Develop your visual narrative as you stitch, paint and collage a bound or modular book-form.

Course Description

Investigate de-constructing and subverting the narrative form of maps, or book-related objects to create new forms of mixed media paper and textile based work, which reference a physical or reflective journey. Develop your visual narrative as you stitch, paint and collage a bound or modular work loosely based on a book-form.

Maps are a symbol for a journey both, physical through a favourite landscape, or part of travel reflecting a personal journey. In this workshop we investigate methods of de-constructing and subverting the narrative form of maps, old book and related objects to create new forms for mixed media paper/textile based work. The references you select, books, texts, photocopies of your own drawings, will direct the content and processes from layering and cutting techniques through to stitch, paint and collage. Your visual narrative can take inspiration from the urban/wild spaces of West Dean Gardens or subject of your choice.

Methods place emphasis on the use of waste material combined with some specialist paper and dye techniques adapted from the tutor’s own practice.

The pieces resulting from this creative exploration will be an improvised mixed media concertina, unfolding, bound or modular book form (although please note: this is not a bookbinding course).

• Combining paper and textiles.

• Investigation of mark-making techniques.

• Creation of folded and dimensional book-forms.

In a combination of demonstrations and discussion you will be able to work individually in applying techniques, and develop ideas in mixed media. Samples will be available to look at and the course ends with an open discussion of ideas and process in relation to the work produced.

On the first evening session there will be an informal slide talk of the tutor’s work in textile, book objects and mixed-media followed by a brief discussion and practical session giving you the opportunity to ask questions.


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


  • Some basic materials, including paper, acrylic paints, crayons, and paste/PVA for use on the course.

What students need to bring

  • Equipment:
  • 1-2 inch brush, 2/3 finer brushes, sponge, 3-4 plastic lidded containers, a plastic ruler, small sponge. Scalpel, masking tape, bone folder if you have one.
  • Cheap wax crayons for writing text and making rubbings, 2–3 items of additional writing/drawing media of your choice.
  • Basic sewing equipment:
  • Scissors, assorted threads of your choice and one or two machine threads. Part of the course focuses on hand stitching for those who wish to stitch but there will be 2-4 sewing machines available for a brief demonstration and practice for those who wish.
  • Papers and fabric:
  • Old books, maps or related objects or photocopies from books and images you like.
  • Assorted weights of papers from brown wrapping paper/potato sacks, tissue, glossy magazines, patterned paper, textured paper (wallpaper), oriental specialist papers, hand-made paper, etc.
  • Gathered ephemera:
  • Lace, fabric scraps, staples, paperclips, pins, lacing, old food wrappers, pegs, 3–4 small found objects to print with. (This should fit in one carrier bag)
  • Piece of old sheeting/cotton, calico – no more than half metre to a metre length.
  • Bring images for inspiration and one or two images of previous work. As you work through the course you may choose to make reference to the environment of West Dean College, and/or work from personal images, ideas and other materials you have collected for inspiration.
  • Apron and plastic gloves
  • Notebook/camera (optional)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Brushes, scalpel or craft knife, masking tape, bone folders, basic sewing equipment and threads, a wide selection of papers, paints, crayons and calico.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Cas Holmes

Cas Homes studied in Fine Art, Maidstone College of Art (UCA) in the eighties before a further study in Japanese art, textiles and papermaking in Japan under a Japan Foundation Fellowship and a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship. She is a tutor at West Dean College alongside other adult education and community projects. Cas has also published work including; Textile Landscape, The Found Object in Textile Art, Stitch Stories, and Connected Cloth.


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

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