Shellie Holden

Shellie Holden PGCE BA Hons MA


Tel: +44 (0) 1792 481000

Pathway leader and lecturer, MA Contemporary Dialogues – Textiles

Lecturer - Cert HE Art and Design Foundation course

Dissertation Supervisor, BA Art & Design

This has involved developing and delivering approaches to creative and critical practice as part of research and making, including lectures, and seminars workshops, and tutorial supervision as part of the MA Contemporary Dialogues Portfolio and Cert HE Art and Design Foundation course

An undergraduate student of Embroidery, Manchester Metroplitan University, (1992-95), Shellie lived and worked in London before returning to education, completing her AHRC funded MA, Goldsmiths College, London in (2005-2006).

Whilst in London she worked for various arts organisations and retail establishments alongside her creative practice, including:

Project manager, Deptford X Visual Arts Art Festival

Event organizer, Origin, Somerset House for the Crafts Council.

Visual merchandiser, Miss Selfridge, Flag ship store, Oxford Street

Exhibition Curator, Crafts Council shop at V&A

Sales Adviser, Heal & Son Ltd, London

Project Co-ordinator, Collect, V&A

Her work was showcased at Contemporary Applied Arts, London,

SOFA Chicago, The Chelsea Crafts Fair, Origin at Somerset House, London, The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, Manchester and Craft in the Bay, Cardiff.

Since post - graduate study, she has been considering how her work might settle into other territories outside of the contemporary craft space, including the home as pop up space, the contemporary gallery and other social/public spaces.

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2010
  • Contemporary Applied Arts, London, 2003 - present

Interested in the link between process and pedagogy, Shellie's practice focuses on the connectivity of making, utilising writing, drawing and making as mechanisms of a material -based practice. This forms part of her own and pedagogical practice through which she encourages students to work conceptually, and experimentally whilst becoming the bricoleur of the everyday. 

More recently she has considered the value of ethnographic objects and artefacts, such as those represented in museum collections to consider their significance now. This redundancy of the archive involving issues of preservation are constantly being re- evaluated as part of her material - based enquiry.


An opportunity to remake, and to some extent, reclaim, the Seal Gut Parka for ‘Kevin McCloud’s Manmade Home’, (season 2, episode 4, 2013) provided a further opportunity to consider how an ‘Alaskan Gut Parka’, can be reimagined through practical experimentation and dialogue - as a part of her practice - based research.

This has considered both a philosophical and material approach to making; questioning the role of the museum archive to conserve the material artefact whilst at the same time preserve the native language of making evident in the process.

Seminars and workshops related to the Parka have allowed a dialogue to continue in consultation with other makers and researchers, including forums at Contemporary Applied Arts, London, Mission Gallery, Swansea and Craft in the Bay, Cardiff. 

This work is documented through contemporary practice and academic papers as part of her practice - based research method.

Having trained in Embroidery, Textiles and Visual Art, Shellie brings a particular sensibility towards working with soft materials with an emphasis on the hands- on and handmade, placing an emphasis on experimentation through making, whereby learners develop ‘A tolerance for ambiguity and a certain playfulness with ideas’, as Steers and Addison and Burgess suggest, (2003:27), enabling them to be resourceful and innovative, active and engaged.

She is interested in what is perceived as ‘skill’, and what might be distinguished as ‘crafted’ without placing limitations or restrictions on the work. The idea of context is critical to this discussion. This underlying approach underpins her philosophy towards practice.

In close consultation with the presenter Kevin McCloud and the research team at Optomen Television, for channel 4,

Shellie was commissioned to recreate a Native Alaskan Parka for edutainment television documentary, ‘Kevin McCloud’s Manmade Home’ (featured in Series 2, Episode 4, October 13th, 2013). 

Further to this, Shellie was commissioned to write a piece for Selvedge Magazine.


Corporate Commissions and invitations also include:

Textile and Place, peer reviewed paper presentation, Manchester School of Art, 2018

Textiles Place, Workshop Leader, Mission Gallery, 2018

Book Review, Textile Journal of Cloth and Culture, 2018

Objects and Heirlooms, Workshop Leader, Mission Gallery, 2017

Maker in Focus, Oriel Wrexham, 2016

Time let me play: staff exhibition at National Waterfront Museum, 2015

Branching Out, Kath Clewett and Shellie Holden, Pop Up Shop,

Maker in Focus, Mission Gallery Swansea, 2015

Design of paper products for new publication, Creative plus publishing, 2011

Design and make Wearable Textiles for Awards Ceremony, commissioned by The Crafts Council, for the Knitting and Stitching show, Alexander Palace, London, 2010

The Laurgharne Castle Project, workshops, Arts Council Wales, 2009:

Christmas corporate card, The Crafts Council, 2006:

Arts in Health Commission, Paper textile installation and workshops, Queen Mary’s, London, 2005:

Lead Artist Volunteer, Big Arts Week: Hugh Myddleton Primary School installation and workshops, London, 2003

 Decorative showroom art,Walker Gellender Design for The Conran Design Group, 2002

Textile artefacts for Primary Art Loans, (PALS Scheme), Haringey Arts Council, 02:

Book Review, Textile Journal of Cloth and Culture, 2018

Feature, Selvedge Magazine, ‘Sealed and Delivered’, p58 –59, November 2014

Feature, Selvedge Magazine‘ Nose to Tail – recreating an Alaskan Parka’ p6, Nov 2014

Feature, Embroidery Magazine, ‘Concealing and Revealing’, L.Gundry, p30, May 2003, Embroidery, Volume 54