Julia O’Connell

Artist Statement

I stitch. Whether by hand or machine, stitching is the core process of my practice. Through surface, textures, line and pattern, my work is about people, place and stories shared. I am committed to working more sustainably and all my materials and cloth are ethically sourced and/or gifted from a previous maker. I am a follower of the Slow stitch movement. 


2021                Art for The People, Talking Birds, Coventry

2020                Meanwhile exhibition, Shop Front Theatre                

2018                Blue, Coventry Open, Herbert Art Gallery    

2018                 Processions, Imagineer Productions/Artichoke/14-18 NOW

2018                AiR, Heritage Hub, Gloucestershire Archives

2017               WITNESS – AiR – Imagineer Productions, Coventry

2016                Banner maker – Time & Food Unions – The Pod, Coventry

2015 – 17         ‘The Sleeping Place’ –  London Road Cemetery

2015 – 16         ‘Small Scale City Skirt’ – Coventry Artspace 

2015                ‘The Visible Maker’ – Live craft & theatre performance

2014                AiR, WW1 Commemorations, War Memorial Park, Coventry

2014                 ‘Memphis Sphinx’ – Random String/Ludic Rooms

2012 – 14          ‘100’ WW1 installation – Theatre Absolute/Herbert Art Gallery

2009 – 13          AiR, Faculty of Engineering & Comp., Coventry University

2009 – 12         Godiva Awakes, London Olympics 2012, Imagineer                  


2021 British Council & City of Culture Trust, Coventry 2021, International Change Maker, Morocco

2015 ACE funding award for The Visible Maker 

2015 Recipient of Pluspace Bursary for Artist spaces

2014 Resident Artist bursary – Random String, Ludic Rooms

2013 Recipient of a-n Re:View Bursary for artists

2008 Nominated for the Cecil Angel Cup, Coventry University

2007  Volvo (UK) Art & Design Winner – ‘Liten Resa’ installation and film


2003 – 08    BA (Hons) First Class, Textiles, Faculty of Art & Design, Coventry University

1981 – 85    The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, London (Distinction)

Other information
Employers and Public Liability Insured, Designated Premises Supervisor & Personal License holder. Clean driving license/car owner. 

Related information
Visiting lecturer – De Montfort University, Leicester, University of Warwick, and Coventry University. Workshop tutor for Slow Stitch, Home Dyeing, and quilt making.

Freelance projects manager and producer for award winning Theatre Absolute, an independent theatre company. Theatre Absolute operates the UK’s first professional Shop Front Theatre in Coventry, West Midlands. Projects managed include socially engaged arts projects, events, and theatre performances. Awards include two Edinburgh Festival Fringe Firsts, a Time Out Best New Play Award and The Olwen Whymark Encouragement For Theatre Writing Award 2021. 

Management skills include team management, budgets and monitoring, fundraising, PR, social media, audience development, and volunteers recruitment. Mentor of project management to individual artists and small arts organisations.

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