Victoria Mitchell

Victoria Mitchell

My research and writing focus on intersections between making, metaphor and meaning, especially drawing on anthropology, history, philosophy and critical theory as a way of interrogating relationships between conceptual and material practices of fine and applied arts and architecture, often with reference to textiles.  I am currently working on stitch, with reference to Jacques Lacan and Slavoj Žižek. My essay ‘Text, Textile Techne’ (1997) has been reprinted in J. Hemmings (ed) The Textile Reader (Berg, 2012) and in Catherine Harper (ed) Textiles: Critical and Primary Sources (Berg 2012). Recent and on-going research considers relationships between biomimetics and architecture in relation to  basketry practices. Research into the relationship between textile production, pattern and consumerism, with particular reference to Eighteenth century Norwich textiles, is ongoing, with related interests developing in respect of thread manufacture by Coats plc. Victoria’s work is available to view on her website.

Victoria Mitchell is a member of the Pattern and Chaos group of collaborative, interactive and networking designers, artists, theorists and innovators in education, all of whom are based at Norwich University of the Arts.

Practice and Research Outputs

  • 2013: Basketry: Between culture and nature:
  • 2013: ‘Stitching with Metonymy’ Textile: the Journal of Cloth and Culture, 11.3 Autumn 2013
  • 2013: How We Make and How We Might Make, participant, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, Escalator Retreat
  • 2013: ‘Tangles and Tectonics: the expanding range of contemporary basketry’ in T.A. Heslop (ed) Basketry and Beyond: constructing cultures (Leiden, Brill), in press
  • 2013: ‘Working the Fold’ text for Unpicking and Rebinding, Arts Council funded project led by artist Les Bicknell
  • 2012: ‘“The only true book”: patterns of exchange between text and textile in catalogues of samples from eighteenth-century Norwich’, conference paper, Texts and Textiles, Jesus College, University of Cambridge.
  • 2012: ‘Adaptation: the nature and culture of contemporary basketry’, conference paper, Woven Communities, University of St. Andrews
  • 2009-11: Co-Investigator, ‘Beyond the Basket: Construction Order and Understanding ’, (AHRC Beyond Text large grant funded) exhibition Basketry: Making Human Nature, SCVA, University of  East Anglia, Feb-May 2011; exhibition catalogue contribution; conference paper: ‘Expansion and Containment: Shaping Space through Contemporary Basketry’ UEA April 2011; co-curator (with Mary Butcher) East Anglian Basketry, The Gallery, Norwich University College of the Arts, Jan-Feb., 2011  Co-editor and contributor to catalogue
  • 2010: (with Katherine Nolan) ‘Staging Material, Performing Culture’ for Textile: the Journal of Cloth and Culture, Vol. 8, No.2
  • 2009: ‘Norwich Textiles: a Marketplace in Miniature’, proceedings of the Textile Society of America 11th Biennial Symposium, Textiles as Cultural Expressions, Honolulu,
  • 2008: ‘Traditional Textiles meets Contemporary Art’ Cloth and Culture Now, symposium paper, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art, University of East Anglia
  • 2006: ‘Drawing Threads from Sight to Site’ in Textile: the Journal of Cloth and Culture, Volume 4, Issue 3. Berg Publishers, New York and Oxford., 2006
  • 2006: ‘Clothing the Grid: alterations and alternations’ for Maxine Bristow, exhibition catalogue, The Hub, Lincolnshire
  • 2005: ‘Polly Binns’ in text contribution to catalogue for Revealed, Nottingham City Museums and Galleries
  • 2004-present: collaboration with Norwich Castle Museums, The Norwich Textile Project, including development (2006) of website,
  • 2004: ‘Tracing a Fabric of Construction’, text for artists’ book: Bould, Patricia and Mitchell, Belinda Site Works, Winchester Gallery, Winchester, UK
  • 2004: ‘Sensory Pleasure and Cultural Anxiety’, text, Art Textiles 3, Bury St.Edmunds Art Gallery, UK
  • 2001: ‘Fibre and Line: from Spin to Span’  in L. Golden (ed.) Raising the Eyebrow: John Onians and World Art Studies BAR International Series 996
  • 2000: ‘Folding and Unfolding the Textile Membrane: between bodies and architectures’ in The Body Politic: the Role of the Body and Contemporary Craft (ed. Julian Stair) Crafts Council Publications
  • 2000: Co-curator (with Lynda Morris): Selvedges (exhibition of the work of Janis Jefferies), touring (2001); editor and contributor (introduction): Selvedges: Janis Jefferies, writings and artworks since 1980, Norwich Gallery
  • 1998: ‘Fibre and Art in the 1960s: Losing Sight of the Parallel Layers’ in Cloth Norwich Documents 01, Norwich Gallery Norwich School of Art and Design
  • 1997: Catalogue essay ‘Between Sense and Place’ for Between Sense and Place, curated by Clio Padovani for The Winchester Gallery, University of Southampton
  • 1997: ‘Text, Textile, techne’ for conference and publication Tanya Harrod (ed.): Obscure Objects of Desire Crafts Council Publications (reprinted in 2012 in Jessica Hemmings ed. The Textile Reader Oxford, Berg, and in Catherine Harper (ed) Textiles: Critical and Primary Sources, Berg)

Other Activities

  • 2011 – 2015: External Examiner University of Hertfordshire, MA Visual Arts
  • 2008 – 2012: External Examiner, Chelsea College of Art & Design, London, BA Textile Design
  • 2007 – 2009: External Examiner Goldsmiths College, BA Visual Arts/ Textiles
  • 2001 – 2005: External Examiner Goldsmiths College, Postgraduate Diploma, Textiles
  • 2001 – 2012: Book Reviews’ Editor Textile: the Journal of Cloth and Culture, (Berg)
  • Advisory Board member for Craft Research (Intellect)
portrait photo of Research Supervisor Victoria Mitchell standing with hands in pockets and smiling at camera with medium blonde hair and red glasses and a grey loose open shirt jacket


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