Professor Anne Morrell

On Saturday 27 November 2004 members of edge were delighted to welcome Professor Anne Morrell as guest speaker of the Kath Whyte Memorial Lecture, the first of what will hopefully become an annual event. Anne Morrell was born in India and has written a number of texts on embroidery techniques and held exhibitions of her work in many countries. As Professor and former Head of Embroidery at the Manchester Metropolitan University, Anne Morrell has taught for more than 30 years and has published extensively. Her work was most recently seen at the 11th Triennial in Lodz during 2004 and the New International Quilts exhibition at The Shipley Gallery in England.

Since 1994 she has been a Consultant at the Calico Museum of Textiles, Sarabhai Foundation, subject of her illustrated talk. Entitled Indian Textiles from the Calico Museum to the Whitework of Lucknow Anne’s love and enthusiasm for the fabulous textiles produced all over the sub-continent was evident with their influence and her early life in India defining her own work. Her examples of some of the many techniques were exquisite and her talk gave the audience a sense of the place and the valuable work that is done there. However she also gave an idea of the ingenuity of the people and their ability to produce delicate and detailed work of great finesse. Her talk covered many techniques, mirror making, block printing, kantha, phulkari, badla plus many more and Anne drew parallels with the whitework done in parts of India and the Scottish traditional technique known to us all.

Kath Whyte was the influential Head of Embroidery and Weaving at Glasgow Art School and like Anne had an Indian childhood. She and Anne became friendly through their work at the two institutions and, like Anne, she never lost her love of India, the country of their birth, or her commitment to the practice of embroidery and stitched textiles. Professor Anne Morrell’s talk was a fitting start to our Kath Whyte Memorial Lectures.