Chain reaction – drawing, collage and stitch with Matthew Harris

Ref: S3D32957

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About this course

Explore the contrast of continuity and change through drawing, collage and stitch. Working on primed canvas from a collection of objects, develop a personal language, narrative and history through the interaction of making, materials and process to improve your art textiles.

Course Description

Working from a collection of personal objects, you will be looking at ways in which to generate a collection of visual material that has the potential to evolve and change along a three and a half metre length of cloth. Your starting point will be a collection of personal objects that you have acquired, inherited or collected. These don’t have to be exceptional objects; they may be ephemeral or throw away, or they might have strong associations or personal memories; they may form a group or be totally disconnected. What they must all share, however, are visual elements that excite and interest you; elements to do with colour, texture, pattern, form, material, etc.

Working with a range of materials and approaches, including drawing, painting, collage, appliqué, stitch etc, you will extract and play with information from your objects through observation, repetition, distortion, fracturing, stretching etc. Your piece of cloth will then evidence the process of this development along its entire length. This will be done by recording the working and re-working of ideas and approaches. In doing so, layers of information are laid down, worked over, re-shaped, hidden and revealed over three days to create a rich palimpsest that becomes an object in its own right or one that forms the starting point for further ideas.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course, a three metre length of calico and the acrylic size to work onto, wax pellets and a wide brush to work with are included.

What students need to bring

  • A collection of personal objects, inherited, acquired, collected, rich in visual information
  • A selection of wet and dry drawing materials, including: coloured pencils, coloured inks, paint (acrylic, gouache or water colour)
  • Dry pastels and/or wax pastels
  • A drawing nib or dip pen
  • A selection of brushes
  • Graphite pencils
  • Collage materials, which can include: coloured and textured papers, scrap images and fabric
  • PVA and a pot to mix it in
  • Coloured threads, such as embroidery thread, as well as any other type of yarn, ribbon, etc.
  • Different sized needles and pins
  • Scalpel or craft knife
  • Masking tape

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • All the above drawing materials are available in the college shop.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


Matthew Harris

Matthew Harris studied at Goldsmiths College and makes work in both paper and cloth that is primarily concerned with the exploration and exploitation of abstract imagery. Matthew has work in the Crafts Council Collection and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. He has exhibited throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Japan.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.