Sara Kelly

Weaver & Designer
Sara Kelley Weaving
The Story

Sara strives to bring together elements of the built environment and textiles, and believes the combined aspects of architecture include everything from the building itself to the art and people who live within…

In her project, “Woven through Experience”, Sara researches the weaving technique of the backstrap loom. Her work aims to educate and bring together communities through the practice of craft. Along with a critical research paper, her project looks at traditional weaving techniques of Mexico and Guatemala, to better understand these communities’ physical and mental connection to their craft.

Sara strives towards a more sustainable future within textiles, and is conscious in her designs to maintain this ethos. She uses weft materials mainly sourced from second hand shops, proving the craft of weaving can be sustainable, inexpensive, portable and social. She is exploring the importance of the connection between the craft and the maker by documenting my interactions with the public using photography and videography, in collaboration with London-based photographer, Craig Matthews. Each project showcases a refined relationship between materials, narrative, community and space, which has a personal, durable and beautiful place within its surroundings. She has a postgraduate degree in Textile Design from Chelsea College of Art and an undergraduate degree in Architecture from Newcastle University.
The Backstrap Loom | Sara Kelly, Video: Craig Matthews

Community building through making.

“I am inspired by Dada and the hugely diverse movement that encouraged a whole range of diverse art mediums from performance art to collage. Dada honed ideas from the conceptual Art movement, where the focus was less on creating a final beautiful product but more about generating questions about society and the purpose of art and its process which I find fascinating. I am inspired by the way in which the Dada movement went against all norms of traditional art production, and to challenge societal norms within the artistic process.” – Sara Kelly

Dada Connection: Textiles & Making

As a designer and weaver from the North-East of England, Sara Kelly’s design history to date combines her passions for textiles and architecture, reflecting on the way cities impact making. Dada also refracted the cityscape back through textile making…

“In 1920, at the time Head [opposite] was made, she was best known for her arts-and-crafts creations, including textile designs, turned-wood containers, beaded necklaces, notebook covers, and bags. Head combines mechanically produced turned-wood pieces and beaded ornaments typically associated with domestic handicrafts to create a sculpture that challenges the boundaries separating craft from fine art…” – MoMA

Sophie Taeuber-Arp Oval

Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Oval Composition with Abstract Motifs, 1922