Exhibition Review: Small Talk – The 62 Group

Exhibition Review: Small Talk – The 62 Group

A diverse range of high-quality work by members of the renowned 62 Group of textile artists is currently on show at the Constance Howard Gallery, Goldsmiths, in London. The exhibition has been named ‘Small Talk’, although the work reflects big ideas and creative ingenuity, realized through a variety of media. We were lucky enough to attend the private view of this inspirational textile art show and had the chance to chat to a few of the artists whose work was featured.

Textile artist Ann Goddard with her piece At Stake at the recent exhibition at Goldsmiths by the 62 Group.

Ann Goddard with her work At Stake, Seven units, 100 x variable x 8cm

Ann Goddard – At Stake

Ann’s work has held a fascination for TextileArtist.org since we were first introduced to it at the Knitting and Stitching show last year. An interview with her, exploring the inspiration behind her work and the methods she uses to realize her ideas, has proved one of our most popular articles. She has also recently been a featured artist on the site.

Like much of Ann’s work, the piece selected for Small Talk explores the impact of human activity on nature. In At Stake, Ann makes use of bark taken from trees felled to make way for a housing development. She wanted to utilise a piece of nature that once would have been a valuable habitat for a vast range of small life forms, and give it a new life. As well as being visually engaging, the story behind the piece gives it an emotional impact and history that is both touching and invigorating.

It never ceases to amaze me the range of techniques and materials textile artists employ to create original work. Ann is no exception and is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. For the creation of At Stake, she brought together synthetic rubber cord, thread, bark, rebar, feathers and wire, using a vast range of methods, including drilling, hand stitch, machine wrapping, knotting and construction.

Chair of the 62 Group of textile artists, Jae Maries with her piece Gathering

Jae Maries with her piece Gathering, 70.5 x 54.5 x 34cm

Jae Maries – Gathering

Jae Maries is currently chair of the 62 Group and was recently kind enough to write a feature for us about their history and work.

Her work Gathering features a group of people at a party or maybe even a textile art show. Taking inspiration from real-life chats in coffee bars and at exhibitions, Jae has created a piece that is detailed and amusing. She has combined the snippets of conversations with small figures made from fabric scraps, paper, threads, ribbons, metal and monofilament; these are the people mingling and conversing in Gathering.

Jae pieced painted and printed fabric scraps and assembled them with hand and machine stitch to create a delicately vibrant work for the Small Talk exhibition.

Shuna Rendel at the recent exhibition Small Talk featuring a range of textile art using a variety of techniques and materials

Shuna Rendel with her work Dark Form, 32 x 12 x 32cm

Shuna Rendel – Dark Form

Shuna Rendel uses a range of traditional textile techniques to create 3-D flexible sculpture. She is continually pushing techniques to their limit to expand the range of her work, giving each new piece a sense of innovation and development.

Dark Form, on display at Small Talk, is a tonal drawing which develops and contrasts the changing quality of line, light and shades of darkness.

Shuna used a variety of materials to create the end result, including dyed hemp, dyed chair cane and wire. Combined with techniques such as knotted netting and overlay, she has produced an intricate and complex work of endless fascination.

Heather Belcher's work was recently featured in a exhibition by the 62 Group of Textile Artists

Heather Belcher with her piece Half a Blanket, 80 x 140cm

Heather Belcher – Half a Blanket

Heather Belcher‘s work explores hand made felting processes, but she also incorporates techniques such as hand knitting, printing and drawing. She mainly creates images of domestic objects and clothing, which become integrated in the structure of the cloth.

Half a Blanket was originally inspired by a collection of traditional Welsh blankets made from two pieces of narrow, hand-woven cloth. Having become increasingly interested in selvedges and seams, self-edges and boundaries, worn edges that unravel, Helen created this piece using merino wool.

Renowned and respected textile artist Helen Banzhaf at the private view of Small Talk at Goldsmiths College

Helen Banzhaf with her work Untitled, 22 x 97 x 4cm

Helen Banzhaf – Untitled

Helen Banzhaf has been making textiles since 1989. Her work is exhibited both at home and abroad and her textiles are featured in many books and publications.

The untitled piece, which she is currently on show in the 62 Group’s Small Talk exhibition, features misshapen motifs in the background; these have become somewhat synonymous with Helen’s work. Usually, however, they are applied as a decorative pattern to stitched vessels. Here they can be seen tucked behind tumbling leaves.

Helen uses machine embroidery to achieve the desired effect and the piece is made from 100% mercerized thread.

Small Talk runs from 4 June to 25 July 2013 at the Constance Howard Gallery, 
Goldsmiths, University of London,
 Deptford Town Hall Building,
 New Cross Road
, London
 SE14 6AF. For more details telephone: +44(0)20 7717 2210/2295.

If you’ve recently visited an exciting textile art exhibition, let us know by leaving a comment below.

Tuesday 28th, November 2023 / 16:44

About the author

Joseph Pitcher is the son of textile artist Sue Stone. He is an actor and voice-over artist and has worked at the RSC, the National Theatre, West End theatres and several other leading regional venues across the UK. Find Joe on Google

View all articles by Joe



Share in the creative secrets of the world's most celebrated embroidery artists.

And discover how to create breathtaking art with textiles and stitch.

All Inspiration. No Spam.

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter

5 comments on “Exhibition Review: Small Talk – The 62 Group”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hello and welcome to TextileArtist.org

TextileArtist.org is a place for textile artists and art enthusiasts to be inspired, learn from the best, promote their work and communicate with like-minded creatives.



Share in the creative secrets of the world's most celebrated embroidery artists.

And discover how to create breathtaking art with textiles and stitch.

All Inspiration. No Spam.

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter

What the artists say

"Textileartist.org is an invaluable resource. I am constantly sending students there and sharing it with other practitioners".

Nigel Cheney
Lecturer in Embroidered Textiles at NCAD

"The beauty of TextileArtist.org is that whenever you visit you'll discover something that you didn't already know".

Rachel Parker
Textile Study Group Graduate of the year 2012

"TextileArtist.org gives contemporary textile practice a voice; leading artists, useful guides and a forum for textiles".

Cas Holmes
Textile Artist and teacher

"This website is exactly what we need in the textiles world. A fantastic inspirational resource".

Carol Naylor
Textile and Embroidery Artist

  Get updates from TextileArtist.org via RSS or Email

Most Viewed