Shellie Holden BA, MA, P.G.C.E / Cert ED (PECT)



Tel: +44 (0) 1792 481000

Shellie Holden

  • Pathway leader and lecturer, MA Contemporary Dialogues – Textiles
  • Lecturer - Foundation Art & Design. 
  • Dissertation Supervisor, Contextual Studies

Role includes:

  • Delivering lectures, Materials Studies Seminars, Workshops, and Tutorial Supervision, MA Contemporary Dialogues.
  • Delivering Contextual and Visual Studies, Foundation Art & Design. 
  • Responsibilities include developing and delivering approaches to creative and critical practice including research and making.

Based in London from 1995 - 2006 Shellie worked on events such as Collect, V&A and Origin, Somerset House for the Crafts Council. She also worked as project manager for the Deptford X Visual Arts Art Festival 2008. Shellie has gained experience working as event organizer, visual merchandiser and exhibition curator, whilst maintaining her own practice.

Her work has been showcased at Contemporary Applied Arts, London, SOFA Chicago, The Chelsea Crafts Fair, Origin at Somerset House, Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, and Craft in the Bay, Cardiff.

Since graduating from Goldsmiths University, Shellie has been considering how her work might settle into other territories outside of the contemporary craft space, including the home as pop up space, and other social and public spaces, as a fine art practice which critiques the crafting of work.

Shellie is interested in the dialogue that arises from making, and in the link between pedagogy and practice.

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

As a practitioner and lecturer, Shellie is largely concerned with the relationship we have to materials - drawing on parallels between writing, drawing and making as mechanisms in which to construct and deconstruct work - in the space of a piece of paper, on or off the body, as, or into environments, for instance.  This forms part of her pedagogical practice in which she encourages students to work conceptually whilst becoming the bricoleur of the everyday. 

The modules for Contextual and Visual Studies on the Cert HE Art and Design Foundation Programme, as well as the Undergraduate degree Contextual Studies progamme and MA Contemporary Dialogues, Textiles enable her to bring this understanding and interest into the educational environment. Her teaching and lecturing consist of seminars and lectures, workshops and presentations, one to one supervision and group tutorial discussions. 

An ongoing enquiry into the ‘Preservation of the Native Alaskan Parka’

stemmed from a commercial project, commissioned by Optomen Television for Channel 4, summer 2013.

This considers 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. This includes events at Contemporary Applied Arts, London, Mission Gallery, Swansea and Craft in the Bay, Cardiff. 

Having trained in Embroidery, Textiles and Visual Art Shellie brings a particular sensibility towards working with materials with an emphasis on the hands on and hand made, 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.

Shellie was commissioned to recreate the Native Alaskan Parka for the TV series/ documentary, ‘Kevin McCloud’s Manmade Home’, and was featured in Series 2, Episode 4, October 13th, discussing the experiment with presenter kevin McCloud. 

Selvedge Magazine commissioned Shellie to write a piece about her experience of making the Parka. (See publications below).

Corporate Commissions and invitations include:

Creative plus publishing, 2011: Designed paper products for new publication

The Crafts Council, 2010: to Design and make Wearable Textile for Awards Ceremony,

Knitting and Stitching show, Alexander Palace, London

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

The Crafts Council, 2006: Christmas corporate card,

Arts in Health, 2005: Hospital Art installation and workshops,  Queen Mary’s, London

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

Walker Gellender Design/ Conran Design Group, 02, Decorative showroom art

Haringey Arts Council, Primary Art Loans, (PALS Scheme)02: textile samples

November 2014, Selvedge, North, 2014, ‘Sealed and Delivered’, p58 -59

November 2014, Selvedge, North, 2014  ‘Nose to Tail – recreating an Alaskan Parka’ p60

May 2003, Embroidery, Volume 54, ‘Concealing and Revealing’ The work of Michelle Holden, by Lucy Gundry, p30