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Harriet Riddell and her bicycle-powered sewing machine

InStitchYou comes to Hatfield
26 April – 5 May 2017
Locations across Hatfield – Free

UH Graduate Harriet Riddell and her bicycle-powered sewing machine will be capturing Hatfield life in thread over the course of two weeks spontaneous stitching from 26 April.  Harriet will be visiting locations across Hatfield including the town centre, both University campuses and Hatfield House. As a performance textile artist (www.institchyou.co.uk), she invites passers-by to pedal the bike which enables her to machine-embroider observational stitched drawings of the landscape, people and conversations around her.

Harriet will be out and about in Hatfield from Wednesday 26 – Friday 28 April and on Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 May. Exact locations in Hatfield will be posted on UHArts social media channels (@UniHertsArts).  On Friday 5 May Harriet will be stitching at Hatfield House to capture life at the town’s most historic landmark.  Her visit coincides with the Living Crafts event at Hatfield House.

UHGalleries has commissioned Harriet to stitch this portrait of Hatfield, incorporating life both on and off-campus.  The resulting work will be displayed in the Chapman Gallery on the College Lane Campus from Saturday 27 May – Saturday 10 June as part of the Hatfield Festival, and will enter into the UH Art Collection.

Harriet is a graduate of the Contemporary Applied Arts programme at the University of Hertfordshire (2012). Originally from Oxfordshire, she has performed all over the world  – her ad-hoc workspaces have included trains, launderettes, bus-stops and markets in countries including Kenya, Canada, India and Switzerland. Whether stitching a sunset in Nairobi or festival-goers at Glastonbury her “day at the office” is always unique.

Observing the changing surroundings and hurrying people, Harriet creates a narrative of her experiences.  The surrounding people and environment are also vital to her work. Snatches of overheard conversations and scraps of found materials feed into the piece she is working on.

Harriet Riddell said “My work is produced live with an audience or in the public eye. By observing and responding to my immediate surroundings, I quickly and intuitively capture the moving world around me.”

Annabel Lucas, Exhibitions Curator and Collection Manager at UHGalleries, said: “Harriet is one of the most visible and successful of the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Creative Arts recent applied arts graduates and we are delighted to be able to offer her a significant professional opportunity, and that she will be animating the campuses, town centre and Hatfield House over the next two weeks”

For more information, please visit the UHArts website: