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Shelly Goldsmith wins The Vlieseline Fine Art Textiles Award 2020

By Emily Peagram 10 Sep 2020

Mixed media textile artist and academic Shelly Goldsmith is the 2020 winner of The Vlieseline Fine Art Textiles Award for her work, Locus of the Dress.

The Ramsgate-based artist’s work uses a reclaimed polyester dress, silk thread and digitally woven tapes, with dispersal dye used to create a photographic effect. The piece explores the fine veneer of cloth that stands between us and the world, investigating the external and internal landscape of a dress.

The artist said: “I collaborated with psychologist Dr. Hermina Hernaiz to explore Locus of Control, a theory which pinpoints our sense of self on a spectrum. Pertinent to our times, those with an external Locus feel powerless to life’s events, feeling like things are being done to them. We are all striving for a strong internal Locus, enabling command, responsibility and autonomy.”

The Vlieseline Fine Art Textiles Award is an international juried competition which celebrates textile art’s place amongst fine art. It recognises the creative talents and skills of a wide range of high-calibre amateur and practising artists working with textiles as their primary media. Entries must be worthy of premium gallery space and transcend their craft or making process. 184 submissions were entered for The Vlieseline Fine Art Textiles Award with 27 shortlisted for the final prize.

The award’s judging panel, which includes renowned textile artists, academics and curators Deirdre Figueiredo MBE, Ekta Kaul, Freddie Robins, Jo Hall, Richard McVetis, Rosy Greenlees and Dr Sue Marks, described Shelly Goldsmith’s Locus of the Dress as: “thoughtful and thought-provoking, a visually arresting and intelligent artwork rooted in textile history and practice. Its excellence derives from an artistic and considered investigation of ‘the landscape of a dress’ and how this relates to ideas of perception, personal identity and control.”

Shelly Goldsmith wins a £5,000 prize from award sponsor, Vlieseline.

Also recognised was textile artist Marie Jones for Most Innovative Use of Textiles. The artist’s epic-scale knitted installation, Daring Greatly, sets the scene for viewers to take a moment to think about where they are in life now and where they want to be.

Marie Jones said: “For many, knitting has a connection to our past with memories of learning the craft at home on our laps with loved ones. I’m interested in how I can take what I know about domestic craft techniques to create something bigger than what we expect they can be, creating new ways of making patterns in life and in the craft.”

The judging panel described Daring Greatly as: “an unexpected feat of scale and technique in a way that challenges expectations of knitting and our relationship to it. The inclusion of the mediums of sound and aroma, as well as the artist’s intervention in the viewing process, adds an intriguing dimension to the installation.”

Marie Jones wins a £500 prize donated by Her Quiet Materials.

Details of all shortlisted entries for The Vlieseline Fine Art Textiles Award can be found at

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