Research Point – Diana Harrison

Drawings on Cloth

I first encountered Diana Harrison’s work at the ‘Lost in Lace’ exhibition this year in Birmingham. Some of her work also features in Drusilla Cole’s book ‘Textiles Now’. I am particularly drawn to the Japanese aesthetics of her work, and the way that process features so prominently in the finished pieces.

Box 1 and Box 2, shown at the V&A Museum in 2010

Harrison studied at Goldsmith’s under Constance Howard, and her work mainly consists of heavily stitched, screen printed, and quilted pieces. She starts by bonding layers of wadding, cotton, interfacing and pre-dyed black silk, and then machine stitches a dense network of lines with polyester thread. She layers discharge printing, screen printing and devore paste printing to alter the surface quality. The combination of synthetic thread on silk and cotton fabric means that devore paste can be used to leave a mesh of stitches in places. She used this technique in the piece ‘Line’ at Lost in Lace, and it fits with her focus on the stitching becoming an integral part of the fabric. Her colours are muted natural tones that enriches the atmospheric shading of her work and focusses your attention on the textural qualities of the piece.

She is inspired by repetitions of line in daily life, such as road markings, and found objects on her daily journeys. She is particularly moved by the weathered patina of found objects, and ‘Box 1 and Box 2’ above are inspired by cardboard box found when she was out walking. ‘Box 1’ is the size of a bed as it was made to closely resemble a quilt for a four poster bed with the open faceted corners.


Cole, D. ‘Textiles Now’, 2008 Laurence King



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