Sandra Brownlee : Personal Focus 2019


Sandra Brownlee : Personal Focus 2019


This master class is an opportunity to examine your sources, and consider what has the most meaning for you at this time. As well as developing personal work, you will have the chance to observe how others "feed" their creative process, expanding their collective understanding of textile thinking.

Dates: May 29th - June 2nd 2019 (Wednesday to Sunday)

Venue: Committed to Cloth Studio, Surrey

Course Fee: £650      Deposit £325

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Sandra Brownlee is an artist based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she pursues her ongoing interests in weaving, tactile notebook keeping, and teaching.

She has exhibited her work extensively throughout North America in both solo and group exhibitions since the late 1970’s. Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition at the David Kaye Gallery in Toronto, GGVMA Award exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, and Innovators and Legends, Generations in Textiles and Fibers, organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art.

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Sandra Brownlee has earned her MFA in Fibers from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has received numerous awards including the 2014 Governor General Visual and Media Arts Saidye Bronfman Award, a Canada Council B Grant, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

Throughout her career, Sandra has taught textile and interdisciplinary arts at numerous universities and art schools in Canada, the United States, and India. She has taught her Tactile Notebook & the Written Word workshop at many venues including Committed to Cloth and Bigcat Textiles (UK), Fibres West, Geelong Forum Textile Retreat, and Big Pond Studio (Australia), Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Contemporary Textiles Studio, and MAIWA Textile Symposium (Canada), and Haystack Mountain School of Craft, Shakerag Workshop, and Long Ridge Farm (USA).


Artist Statement

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Since 1971, I have been active as a weaver and have felt comfortable with the limitations and possibilities of the medium, embracing the intimate and intuitive experience of improvising at the loom, building up marks, lines, and figures slowly and cumulatively.

In the mid-1990’s, I began keeping tactile notebooks, inspired by my work as an art teacher of young children. A place to play, invent, reflect, and respond, my notebooks are treasured objects that feel good to hold and provide a multi-sensory outlet for my imagination.

Parallel to my notebook practice, I started stitching my thoughts onto cloth as a way of overcoming the writing block I have had all my life- love letters, grant reports, and personal manifestos have all emerged from my needle and thread as a result.

Another important component of my studio practice is to start the day with a meditative drawing or mark-making exercise. Gertrude Stein said “repeating is the whole of living and by repeating comes understanding, and understanding is to some the most important part of living.” I couldn’t agree more.

Whether weaving, working in my notebook, stitching words onto cloth or creating a meditative drawing, the slow, tactile component of making is very grounding and enables me to trust in my capacity to imagine, relate, transform and know.

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The Personal Focus Master Class is a time for participants to delve deeply into their own work in the company of like-minded fellow artists.

Sandra Brownlee, Master Class workshop facilitator, will provide a calm environment that is conducive to productivity and presence. Each day will begin with the seed of an idea – a quote, a tactile object, a reflection – providing a stimulus for discussion.

This master class is an opportunity to examine your sources, and consider what has the most meaning for you at this time. Students may wish to work on one piece throughout the week, a series of small experimental pieces, or simply look and absorb - this is their time.

Narrowing focus is an important step and necessary in order to fully develop an idea.

The time together is short, therefore before coming, we ask students to write a few sentences on what their focus will be for the week. This is not meant to be confining but rather to give a basis from which to start.

As well as developing personal work, students will have the chance to observe how others "feed" their creative process, expanding their collective understanding of textile thinking.

Master Class: Things to bring:

1. Tools and materials for the work you've decided to concentrate on

2. Objects, photographs, books, articles (not necessarily on art) that relate to personal work and interests, ie. materials to create a rich work environment for yourself, and to give others a better understanding of your interests

3. Five digital images of your work (or real examples) to be used for a five minute introductory presentation of your work.

4. A reading that has informed your work to share with the group




Please arrive no later than 9.15am on the Wednesday for a 9.30am start.  Teaching hours will run from 9.30am to 4:30.  The studio opening hours will be from 8.30am to 5.00pm. If you arrive early bear in mind that the Class does not begin until 9:30 as we may still be setting up. 

On Sunday, the studio will close at promptly at 4:00.


Lunches, tea/coffee, nibbles and fruit will be provided.

We can provide gluten free, and vegetarian meals. We need to chat if you have more complicated dietary needs!

See the Accommodation list, which comes with student feedback, if you need to stay locally.

Contact and Directions :

 Leslie Morgan