Barbara Shaw
I create art in textiles and ‘paint’ with fabric, making images by hand-stitching small pieces of material together in layers.


I create art in textiles and ‘paint’ with fabric, making images by hand-stitching small pieces of material together in layers. I hope to interpret subjects in a fresh way which encourages viewers to take a second look. I am a self-taught artist having started experimenting with fabrics after sewing patchwork quilts. My work includes elements of both art and craft which reflects my interest in Impressionist paintings and the process of handcrafting. The subjects I stitch include buildings, creatures, plants, landscapes, portraits and still lives.

I exhibit regularly in galleries, museums and exhibitions in the south of England, Artist-in-Residence at two National Trust properties: Chastleton House (the Cotswolds 2014) and Claydon House (Bucks 2015). I was awarded a prize for Excellence in Craft in Oxfordshire (2014) and sold a picture to Oxfordshire County Museum collections. My work has featured in: Cotswold Life, Be Creative with Workbox, Craft and Design, Leisure Painter and German, American and Australian publications. I exhibited in Parliament (2016), the Oxford Museum of Natural History and the Corinium Museum, Cirencester (2017). I had my first solo exhibition at Claydon Estate (Sept 2017). I am a member of Oxfordshire Craft Guild, Licentiate Member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen and Member of Bucks Art Society.


The Fabric of Life is of a nearly full-term foetus in the womb which is hand-stitched in layers from carefully selected small scraps of material. The threads, stitches and pieces of cloth, which make up the image, represent the complex connections which could possibly break or be deformed, leading to health problems in an infant. From a distance the artwork looks like a painting but close up the textures and layers can be clearly seen.



The Fabric of Young Life is a textile collage, hand-stitched from many carefully selected scraps of fabric. The tree represents the family and the importance of these members of it in the child’s emotional and physical development. He is holding a leaf to connect him with the family tree. The layers of textiles and threads also hint at the complex bonds a child needs to thrive. The swing is the balance that young children need to feel both nurtured and able to explore the world safely in order to grow with confidence into adulthood.



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