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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 in fine and applied arts and architecture, often with reference to textiles or basketry.

I am particularly interested in textile actions (such as spinning, stitching, weaving, folding and braiding) as they embody and affect mental activity. My 1997 essay ‘Text, Textile Techne’ has been reprinted in The Textile Reader (ed. J. Hemmings) and Textiles: Critical and Primary Sources (ed. C. Harper). Research into the relationship between textile production, pattern and consumerism, with particular reference to Eighteenth century Norwich textiles, is ongoing.

Victoria Mitchell was a member of the Pattern and Chaos research group of collaborative, interactive and networking designers, artists, theorists and innovators in education, based at Norwich University of the Arts. The publication by Intellect Books, of Pattern and Chaos in Art, Science and Everyday Life, edited by Sarah Horton and Victoria Mitchell, was published in 2023.

Selected publications 1997-2023:

  • 2023 Victoria Mitchell and Stephanie Bunn (eds.) The Material Culture of Basketry, London: Bloomsbury Academic (paperback edition).
  • 2023 Sarah Horton and Victoria Mitchell (eds.) Pattern and Chaos: Making and Meaning, Bristol: Intellect Books.
  • 2023 ‘Mottled Geometries: the lure and allure of the pattern in the carpet’ in Sarah Horton and Victoria Mitchell (eds.) Pattern and Chaos: Making and Meaning, Intellect Books.
  • 2021 ‘Judith Scott: Capturing the Texture of Sensation’, TEXTILE, 19:3, 328-339, DOI: 10.1080/14759756.2021.1913864.
  • 2021 21.02.21, with Karl Foster and Kimberley Foster, AND/BUT, online digital-material performance and discussion, Centre for Arts and Learning, Goldsmiths College, University of London.
  • 2020 with Karl Foster and Kimberley Foster ‘Pears, Pistachios, Pencils and Punctuation: performative encounter and the art of conversation’ in Journal of Writing in Contemporary Practice, Volume 13 Number 2, (169-186). Bristol: Intellect Publishing.
  • 2020 Victoria Mitchell and Stephanie Bunn (eds.) The Material Culture of Basketry, London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  • 2020 ‘Braiding and Dancing: rhythmic interlacing and patterns of interaction’ in Stephanie Bunn and Victoria Mitchell (eds.) The Material Culture of Basketry, London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  • 2020 ‘Tangles and Tectonics: the expanding range of contemporary basketry’ in T.A. Heslop and Helen Anderson (eds.) Basketry and Beyond: Constructing Cultures. Norwich, U.K.; Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.
  • 2020 with Karl Foster and Kimberley Foster, digital-material performance ‘Echoed Structure, Structured Echo, Assembly Online:
  • 2018 ‘Drawing (as if Dancing) Together’, catalogue essay for You and I are Discontinuous Beings, Birmingham City University.
  • 2017 ‘Ornament, Dream and Carpet: troubling encounters and other-worldliness in the work of Anne Deguelle and Rudolf Stingel’, conference paper, Association of Art Historians’ annual conference, University of Loughborough, U.K.
  • 2013 Text: ‘Stitching with Metonymy’ Textile: Journal of Cloth and Culture, 11.3 Autumn
  • 2013 ‘Working the Fold’ text for booklet accompanying Unpicking and Rebinding, project/exhibition led by artist Les Bicknell
  • 2013 Conference Review for Texts and Textiles, (Jesus College, Cambridge 2012) in Textile History (Nov. 2013)
  • 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 ‘Text, Textile, techne’ (1997) reprinted in J. Hemmings (ed.) The Textile Reader, (London, Bloomsbury), ISBN: 9781847886347 and in C. Harper (ed.) Textiles: Critical and Primary Sources, (London, Bloomsbury), ISBN: 9780857850355
  • 2009-11Co-Investigator, ‘Beyond the Basket: Construction Order and Understanding’ (AHRC); co-curating and catalogue contribution, Basketry: Making Human Nature, SCVA, UEA, 2011;
  • co-curator/catalogue contributor (with Mary Butcher): East Anglian Basketry, The Gallery, Norwich University College of the Arts, Jan-Feb., 2011; ‘Tangles and Tectonics: basketry as slow design’,
  • 2010 (with Katherine Nolan): ‘Staging Material, Performing Culture’ for Textile: the Journal of Cloth and Culture, Volume 8, Number 2, July 2010, pp. 202-225.
  • 2008-9 ‘Norwich Textiles: a Marketplace in Miniature’, Textile Society of America 11th Biennial Symposium, Honolulu, Hawaii, Textiles as Cultural Expressions ISBN 0 9645106 6 9
  • 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, U.K. ISBN 0-9548015-2-0
  • 2004 ‘Tracing a Fabric of Construction’, for Patricia Bould and Belinda Mitchell, artists’ book: Site Works, Winchester Gallery, Winchester, UK
  • 2004 ‘Sensory Pleasure and Cultural Anxiety’, 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 ‘Text, Textile, techne’ in Tanya Harrod (ed.): Obscure Objects of Desire: Reviewing the Crafts in the Twentieth Century, Crafts Council Publications

Other Activities

  • 2001 – 2015 External Examiner (Goldsmiths, Chelsea, Hertfordshire).
  • 2001 – 2012 Book Reviews’ Editor Textile: Cloth and Culture.
  • 2012 – present Advisory Board member for Craft Research and Textile Cloth and Culture.