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Textile artist Vicky Glyn

Published on 1st July 2021

Sometimes, it’s hard for a casual observer to appreciate the hours behind an artist’s creations. But that’s not the case with Horsham-based textile artist Vicky Glyn. The intricate mesh of colours and shapes is immediately apparent in works such as ‘Presence,’ made from over 1,000 pieces of fabric, cut from old shirts and pyjamas. And with every piece carefully selected for its shape, light, colour and tone, it’s a time-consuming process...

“There’s a degree of arithmetic and geometry when it comes to organising the patterns,” says Vicky. “You need to understand what shapes fit together and work with the fabric to blend or contrast colours and form distinctive patterns. It’s a matter of piecing segments together like a jigsaw to see what works.” 

“I like to include a mixture of big and small patterns in each piece, to offer a variety of scale. Lines can create a suggestion of movement, but they needs to be balanced with quiet patterns, otherwise it looks disorganised. I try to create a perception of light too, achieved through colour.” “Picking the right fabrics to begin with is key. I buy them from fairs and specialist shops, picking designs that catch my eye and storing them until the right project comes along.”


While some textile artists focus on bed spreads or throws for practical uses, Vicky’s focus has traditionally been on wall hangings, which offer a wider creative scope. She says, “When you make bed spreads, materials need to be light and washable and that can restrict you to a basic pattern. I prefer to use high-quality cotton, as the focus is on displaying the textile.” 

When it comes to ideas, inspiration can come from anywhere. Initially, most of Vicky’s work was in the Persian style. However, that has evolved, and now her textiles are often more abstract, featuring shapes in brighter tones.

“The world can influence you without you realising and ideas bury themselves in your consciousness,” says Vicky. “I used to live in a high-rise apartment block in London and found that squares often appeared in my work. And I would stare out at my triangular-shaped lawn and suddenly green triangles popped up in designs!”


Vicky took an unorthodox route to becoming an artist. She was a lawyer for 25 years, maintaining some interest in embroidery throughout. But it was only after being made redundant that she embarked on a more creative path. At the Knitting and Stitching Show at the Alexandra Palace, the biggest textile fair in the UK, Vicky had an epiphany that would inspire her journey. Eventually…

“I saw an amazing patchwork wall hanging. It looked like the whole world in one rug and I thought, “That’s what I want to do!” I bought the fabric and design book, took it home and it got buried in the wardrobe for ten years. It wasn’t until I was made redundant that I found it. I gave it a go but made it too small. As it transpired, I rather liked the smaller piece, so continued in that vein, buying patterns and making them half size.”

Vicky has since exhibited in the UK and overseas, including Dubai, with solo exhibitions at The Framers’ Gallery in the West End and at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Square. After moving to Horsham from Greenwich, Vicky has also been involved with Horsham Artists and is  teaming up with other artists for the Horsham Art Trail in July. She also displays work at BN5 in Henfield, a shop run by local creatives. However, perhaps her artistic career highlight was when a piece was selected for an exhibit at the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum in London.  

‘The V&A held a competition for adult craft students called ‘Inspired By...’ It involved making something inspired by an item in the V&A, and I chose a diamond in their jewellery section, re-imagining it as a textile piece. I was so pleased to have been selected!”

“However, textile art isn’t as popular as it once was. There was a craze for wall hangings in the early part of the century, but trends change. As hangings are difficult to sell, I also make throws for sofas, with matching cushions, as well as smallers accessories, such as bags. I feel I’m on the verge of a transitional period as an artist, which is exciting, as I don’t know what direction it will take me!” 

Visit Vicky’s shop online at: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/myvisionshared