top of page

Janis Jefferies is an artist, writer and curator.  She is Professor of Visual Arts, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. She is co editor of the first Handbook of Textile Culture, Bloomsbury Publishers (2014), exhibitor at Hangzhou Triennial, China (2016) and consultant to Mill6 Foundation, Hong Kong (2017).   


She is part of the interdisciplinary team at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada on The Re-Enchantment of Cloth(2014-2017) research project. Textiles from the archives of museums in Quebec, Toronto and London are studied and reworked. Textile objects that used precious metal threads in the past and the techniques of couching are transformed into conductive circuitry appropriate for the communication technologies of the 21st century.

Julia Skelly received her PhD in Art History from Queen’s University,
Canada. She is the author of Radical Decadence: Excess in Contemporary
Feminist Textiles and Craft (Bloomsbury, 2017) and Wasted Looks:
Addiction in British Visual Culture, 1751-1919 (Ashgate/Routledge,
2014). She is the editor of The Uses of Excess in Visual and Material
Culture, 1600-2010 (Ashgate/Routledge, 2014). Skelly teaches in the
Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill
University, Montreal.

Gill Crawshaw has recently curated two exhibitions of textile-based work by disabled artists, in Leeds where she is based.

Shoddy, shown in April 2016, explored themes of local textile history and recycling, while successfully challenging assumptions that disabled artists’ work is inferior or second-rate. The project instead identified government treatment of disabled people, with cuts to welfare and public spending, as being beyond shoddy.

Crawshaw draws on her experience of disability activism. The Reality of Small Differences (2014) was originally conceived as a protest about the inaccessibility of an exhibition of Grayson Perry’s tapestries in Leeds. It became a significant exhibition in its own right, showing an interest in the work of disabled artists along with issues of access and inclusion that it aimed to highlight.


Dr Alexandra Kokoli is Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture at Middlesex University London and Research Associate at VIAD, University of Johannesburg. She curated ‘Burnt Breakfast’ and other works by Su Richardson (Constance Howard Gallery and MAKE, Goldsmiths, 2012) and has published widely on art, visual culture and feminism in journals including Art Journal, Women and Performance, n.paradoxa, and Performance Research. Her books include The Feminist Uncanny in Theory and Art Practice (2016); and (as editor) Feminism Reframed: Reflections on Art and Difference (2008); and The Provisional Texture of Reality: Selected Talks and Texts by Susan Hiller, 1977-2007 (2008).

Elizabeth is a feminist scholar, artist and lecturer working at the intersection of textiles history, feminist theory and activist politics. Her work as a researcher centres on the subversive use of textiles as a creative strategy of resistance within the history of women’s domestic labour and in feminist movements. Elizabeth is currently a lecturer of Art History and Textiles Studio at the University of South Australia, School of Art, and is a PhD candidate in Women's Studies at Flinders University. More information at

Harrod has an MFA from the department of Fibers & Material Studies from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. Currently she is the Head of Fibers & Material Studies at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Her solo exhibitions include "Low Ropes Course" at NurtureArt in Brooklyn, "Toxic Shock and Hotdog" at Vox Populi in Philadelphia, and "Soft Hardware" at the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, VA.  Her work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States. These include "In Practice: Material Deviance" at the Sculpture Center in New York, the traveling exhibition "Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community," "Towards Textiles, Material Fix" at the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI.

Harrod has been awarded residencies at the Fire Island Artist's Residency, Open Studio at Haystack Mountain School of Craft, the Icelandic Textile Center, the Vermont Studio Center and Ox-bow. Harrods work appears in the forthcoming book "Queer Threads" and an edited monograph, “Low Ropes Course” published in April 2017 by Publication Studio Hudson that situates her artistic practice within a larger historical and contemporary context, with contributions from Jenni Sorkin, Allyson Mitchell, Laurel Sparx, and JD Samson.

Christine’s creative practice examines the relationship between cloth, culture and race. The cultural exchanges that occur as a result of movement and migration, creating creolised cultural forms, are recurring themes throughout her work.Christine studied Fashion/Textile Design at the University of the West of England, graduating with a BA (Hons) in 1986, and Fashion at the University for the Creative Arts, earning an MA in 2002. Her PhD, Colonizin’ in Reverse: the Creolised Aesthetic of the Windrush Generation, was awarded by Goldsmiths’ Centre for Cultural Studies, London, in 2009. During 2013- 2015 she was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of East London. Between 2014-2015 she was the Stuart Hall Library Animateur at Iniva, London. She is currently an Associate Researcher at VIAD, University of Johannesburg.


Her recent publications include Social Fabric in The Handbook of Textile Culture Janis Jefferies, Hazel Clark and Diana Wood Conroy (eds.) Bloomsbury Publications, 2015; Crafting Difference: Art, Cloth and the African Diasporas in Cultural Threads: Transnational Textiles Today Jessica Hemmings (ed) Bloomsbury Publications, 2015, Second Skins: Cloth, Difference and the Art of Transformation in Image and Text, Leora Farber and Anne-Marie Tully (eds.), University of Johannesburg, 2014, and Reconfiguring Diasporic Identities in Beyond Borders, John Hutnyk (ed.), Pavement Books, 2012. She is currently editing an African Diasporas special issue of Textile: Journal of Cloth and Culture.In January 2016 she delivered a TEDxTalk at the Hackney Empire, London, on the topic of Disobedient Dress: Fashion as Everyday Activism.


Cut Cloth: Contributing Writers

Dr Christine Checinska
Jesse Harrod
Elizabeth Emery
Dr. Alexandra Kokoli
Gill Crawshaw
Dr Julia Skelly
Professor Janis Jefferies

This publication has been produced in order to explore, question and expand on the relationship between contemporary textiles and feminism. Each writer has been commissioned to write an essay exploring the legacy and future for feminist textiles. The publication will be available to download for free from the 7th July. The publication will launch at The Whitworth Gallery where hard copies will be on sale.

Please click here to visit the publication page and read the abstracts.

Charlotte Cullen

Charlotte Cullen is an artist, researcher and curator based in Leeds, UK and recipient of a practice led doctoral studentship at the University of Huddersfield. Cullen’s research is concerned with the relationship between British social class politics, feminism and queer theory and the activation of these politics through practical acts. Cullen was director and curator of U N N A W A Y, Huddersfield and is currently a committee member at Serf, Leeds. Their research has been included in The subversive Stitch Revisited: The Politics of Cloth Now, The V&A London, Salt. Editorial and Ferrofluid journal amongst others.

About the Publisher......

PO  Publishing

because we like books, we make books …


PO publishing is a small publishing house established in 2015.  We are interested in developing publications that spring from creative projects and research.

Please visit their website here:

Dr Jennifer Harris

Jennifer Harris is a curator and writer and was, until recently, Deputy Director of the Whitworth Art Gallery at the University of Manchester. At the Whitworth, which holds one of the finest collections of historical and contemporary textiles in the UK, Jennifer developed a unique collection of contemporary textile art alongside a collection of industrial textile design, and curated many in-house and national touring exhibitions. These included The Subversive Stitch (with Pennina Barnett and Bev Bytheway) in 1988, the first retrospective exhibition of the work of Lucienne Day in 1993, William Morris Revisited: Questioning the Legacy in 1996 and Art_Textiles in 2015. Jennifer’s book 5000 Years of Textiles, first published in 1993, is a standard text. She is currently working on a new publication, A Companion to Textile Culture, which will embrace the historical, contemporary and cultural dimensions of textiles on a global scale.

Pennina Barnett

Pennina Barnett is a writer and curator and Founding Co-Editor of the international peer-review journal Textile: Cloth and Culture (Taylor and Francis, London). Her interests are in cloth, memory and materiality, and current projects explore cloth and repair as metaphors within contemporary art practice. She was Senior Lecturer in Art, Goldsmiths, University of London (1989- 2011), teaching on Fine Art and Textile programmes.


Past co-curating projects include Craft Matters: three attitudes to contemporary craft (John Hansard Gallery, Southampton); The Subversive Stitch: Women and Textiles Today (with Jennifer Harris and Bev Bytheway, Cornerhouse, Manchester); Under Construction (Crafts Council, London); and Textures of Memory: the poetics of cloth (Pitzhanger Manor House and Gallery, London / Angel Row, Nottingham), all UK touring exhibitions. She co-curated The Subversive Stitch Revisited: The Politics of Cloth (with Jennifer Harris and Althea Greenan), a two-day international symposium held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2013.

bottom of page