The Judging Panel

Freddie Robins - Senior Tutor and Reader in Textiles at the Royal College of Art, London

Freddie Robins (b.1965) produces contemporary art works using textile materials and processes. She is renowned for her inventive and provocative use of knitting. Her work explores pertinent contemporary issues of feminism and the human condition, questioning conformity and notions of normality. Robins predominantly produces work for public exhibition, most recently New Doggerland, Thames-Side Studios Gallery, London and Material: Textile, Messums Wiltshire. Her work is held in private and public collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum and Crafts Council.

Ekta Kaul - Textile Artist

Ekta Kaul is a London based textile artist. Her practice is focused on creating narrative maps that explore places, histories and belonging through stitch. A pared down aesthetic coupled with a highly considered use of graphic marks and lines form the core elements of her work. Ekta works on public and private map commissions and her work is held in several collections including Liberty’s of London, the Gunnersbury Museum, Chiswick Library. She exhibits her work at a select group of galleries in the UK and internationally including The New Craftsmen, Contemporary Applied Arts, Museum of Art and Design NYC, Conran Shop Tokyo among others. Ekta has received awards from the Crafts Council and the Arts Council, England & was the finalist in Jerwood Makers Open 2019.

Richard McVetis – Artist

Richard McVetis is a British artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Art in 2008. Shortlisted for the 2018  Loewe Craft Prize, he  regularly exhibits in the UK and internationally. His practice is deeply rooted in process and hand embroidery. Recording time and space through multiples of dots, lines, and crosses. He lives and works in London.  

Jo Hall - Writer, curator and editor of Embroidery Magazine

Jo Hall is currently the Editor of Embroidery magazine (published by the Embroiderers’ Guild). Jo graduated with a degree in fine art textiles from Goldsmiths University, since when she has worked as a writer and editor for various magazines, newspapers and radio, as well as co-curating textile exhibitions.

Rosy Greenlees - Executive Director of the Crafts Council

Rosy Greenlees, OBE, has been Executive Director of the Crafts Council since 2006.  A national organisation promoting the value of craft and making to society, the Crafts Council has supported thousands of makers through its talent development programmes; brings high quality craft to an annual audience of over 3 million through its exhibitions, Collection and events; and leads a national campaign for re-instating craft education in schools. Rosy spent her early career as a visual arts curator before taking on senior roles including Cultural Strategy Manager responsible for the Mayor of London’s first culture strategy; and founder Director of the London Centre for Arts and Cultural Enterprise.Rosy is President of the World Crafts Council and a member of the Creative Industries Council.  She is a Trustee on the Creative & Cultural Skills Board, a Fellow of the RSA and Honorary Fellow of Arts University Bournemouth and the City and Guilds of London College of Art.

Dr Sue Marks - British Quilt Historian/Academic

Dr Sue Marks developed a strong interest in Art and Design History, earning her PhD in Textiles from the University of Sunderland in 2006. Her doctoral thesis explored the divisions therein by examining contemporary quiltmaking practices, and also included a comparative study of historical quiltmaking in the United Kingdom and the United States. She has acted as a judge in several international quilt exhibitions and additionally has authored essays on a variety of quilt exhibits and quilt related topics that have been published in exhibition catalogues and magazines. Dr. Marks is currently an Associate Fellow of the International Quilt Museum.

Deirdre Figueiredo MBE – Director of Craftspace

Deirdre Figueiredo, MBE is Director of Craftspace, a leading craft development organisation and creative producer creating opportunities to see, make and be curious about exceptional contemporary craft. Craftspace positions makers to take an active role in civil society.  It connects creative practice with diverse communities of interest and place through a range of activities and partnerships. These include touring exhibitions, cross art form productions, participatory projects and research. The programme at Craftspace is underpinned by socially engaged, collaborative and co-created approaches to engaging communities through the arts. Building cultural, social and human capital is a key driver of the work. Deirdre has worked as a curator and manager in the field of contemporary visual arts, craft and museums for 30 years. She has developed expertise in diversity, social engagement and audience development issues. In a wider role she has contributed to a range of advisory panels, boards and steering groups including Arts Council England Regional Council and Creative and Cultural Skills Council advisory group. She has selected for numerous awards including the Jerwood Makers Open 2017 and the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize 2017.  She is the Co-founder and Secretariat of CraftNet, a national craft leadership network, Chair of Create in Ireland and Trustee of several organisations including The Crafts Study Centre, Punch, The Clay Foundation and John Feeney Charitable Trust.

The Vlieseline Fine Art Textile Award is sponsored by