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Helen Cowans

I am an award winning, qualified tutor and lecturer. I have a passion and love of textiles and Northumberland. I’ve taught City & Guilds Embroidery courses and now work freelance as a tutor, lecturer and occasionally writing for magazines.
I’ve organised several solo and joint exhibitions.

I’ve qualifications in City & Guilds Embroidery, Adult Education, a Diploma in Art History, qualifications in Archaeology, Islamic Art and Indian Art & Architecture from the University of Oxford.
In a past life I worked in a laboratory as a molecular biologist. I prefer stitching.

I’m presently exploring the landscape and history of Northumberland. A land of battles, castles and hidden rock art. The “Land of the Far Horizons” where vistas are simply stunning.

I’m exploring natural dyeing and weathering methods, so the fabric itself is “of the land”. I’m looking at the animal and plants that live here, especially the wild flowers and the hares and curlews
(the symbol of the Northumberland National Park).

I’m researching archaeological and historical knowledge and geography. Especially looking at old abandoned homesteads and ancient carved rocks. I’ve been thinking about the women who lived in the hills,
who lived through the battles, the cattle raids and the long hard winters.

I also have a passion for Eastern patterns and colours and I indulge in bright colourful work, heavily stitched and beaded.

So I’m quite a contrast. I’ve learnt not to fight it, but to go with it and enjoy it all. Its now becoming a fusion of styles.

Get in touch with me

I accept commissions and I am available as a teacher and a speaker.

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