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Lynn Setterington is an internationally recognised artist working in the textiles arena. Her work explores contemporary issues in society and how stitch can be used to commemorate people and communities. Her quilts and cloths are held in many major public museums including the V&A, Crafts Council, IQSC and Whitworth Art Gallery.

In the 1990’s she became known for her use of kantha embroidery and quilts. Since the 2000’s she has used textiles as a method to share with and commemorate communities and celebrate the everyday. In 2010 she began an extensive study of an overlooked aspect of social history and folk art in the form of signature cloths, working with groups in the US, India, Bangladesh and the UK.

Born in Yorkshire, Lynn trained at York College of Arts and Technology and Goldsmiths College London. She has been a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University in the School of Art since 1992 and in 2009 was awarded a Public Engagement Fellowship. She is an Associate Fellow of the International Quilt Study Center in the US and in 2010 received their visiting Fellowship.

Lynn’s PhD from UCA, Farnham builds on her extensive knowledge to investigate the hidden values and tensions in stitch-based engagement including the intertwining of the ethical and aesthetics.



Unfolding Origins 2020-22

A project with North Yorkshire County Records Office to explore creative ways to interrogate an archive. My focus was Selby in North Yorkshire and the origins of the toll bridge which dates back to the late 1700’s.


Radical Locks 2018/9

A commission for Tameside council in Greater Manchester to celebrate the representation of the people’s act. The cloth, made with over 200 women in Tameside also pays homage to the life of Hannah Mitchell, a local suffragette. Mitchell, a working class women, used ‘Not just bread, but roses too’  in her speeches

 Sew Near- Sew Far 2017

A site specific commission on the moors above Haworth. This large scale transitory artwork with the Bronte Parsonage Museum re-imagines the Bronte sisters in the landscape and draws in new and different audiences.

Threads of Identity 2016

A stitch- based partnership with Burnage Academy for Boys and the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Archive exploring young identity and belonging, 30 years after the death of Ahmed, a pupil at Burnage.

Kotha and Kantha 2016

A collaboration with a group of Bengali-born women based in Manchester and the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Educational Trust to create a series of cloths which toured libraries in Greater Manchester..

Nebraska Schools Project 2014-15

A partnership to realise three signature quilts with refugee children studying in middle schools in Lincoln, Nebraska USA.

Please Sign Here 2013

A  new signature quilt for Rochdale, with residents of the borough. This large scale artwork involving over 200 hand sewn autographs offers a different, flexible and transportable type of commemoration, in contrast to the many hard fixed memorials..

Remembering Emily 2013

Part of the 100deeds, this celebration of  the life of suffragette Emily Davison was made with staff and students at MMU one hundred years after Davison’s death. The 1o metre long scroll is comprised of  one hundred donated signatures of individuals who came together to remember Emily.

Blackpool Wedding Quilt 2011

A royal wedding signature quilt created with hard to reach groups in Blackpool and presented to Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Rainbow Haven

A quilt exploring identity and belonging with those involved in Rainbow Haven, an asylum seekers and refugee organisation.

Who Cares

A collaboration with the Whitworth Art Gallery and visitors questioning our attitudes to mental health.

Sreepur Village

A project with women from Sreepur, Bangladesh celebrating the work of the charity

Respect and Protect 2009

A collaborative quilt for World Aids Day working with Manchester organisations as well as science and art students at MMU.

Hulme Sweet Hulme

A public engagement fellowship with communities in Hulme, Manchester looking at the changing face of Hulme through maps and mapping.

Passing Down 2008  

A collaboration with poet Helen Clare as part of the Manchester Science Festival.

The Great Indoors 2007

A large-scale collaborative project for the first Manchester International Festival to create a recycled indoor garden.

Design Camp, Ahmadabad, India

Lead artist working with a number of textile-based artisans in Ahmedabad

Alma Park School Centenary

A quilt to acknowledge 100 hundred years in the school, working with children, families and carers.

Stitching Up Oxford Rd 2006

 A commission funded by Higher Education Funding Council to draw communities together on Manchester Oxford Rd. The resulting textile re-appropriated plastic bags working with groups on and around Oxford Rd.


Work in Collections

2017               Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

2016               Burnage Academy for Boys, Manchester.

2013               Touchstones Gallery, Rochdale, Lancashire

2013               Denver Museum of Art, Colorado, USA

2012               Terrence Higgins Trust, London

2008               Nowgen (Genetic Research Centre) Manchester

2007               Alma Park Primary School, Manchester

2006               Gallery Oldham Contemporary Banner Collection

2006               University of Nebraska, International Quilt Study Center

2004               Stoneyholme and St Stephens Primary Schools, Burnley England

2000               Transport and General Workers Union Manchester

1998               Oldham Museum and Art Gallery England

1997                Victoria and Albert Museum London

1997                Bedfordshire Schools’ Collection England

1997                Science and Industry Museum Manchester

1996               Shipley Art Gallery, Contemporary Crafts Collection England

1995                Embroiderers Guild of the UK

1994                Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester UK

1993               Crafts Council of Great Britain.


Recent Exhibitions

2017               Sew Near- Sew Far, The Bronte Parsonage Museum, Yorkshire.

2016               The Wit of the Stitch Ruthin Crafts Centre, North Wales

2016               Making Space – 62 Group Exhibition, Macclesfield Silk Museum

2015               Rural Craft – Re-Imagined – Touring exhibition, Cumbria

2015               Construct, Ruthin Craft centre, North Wales

2014-5           Signature Cloths, Curated exhibition at the IQSC, Lincoln Nebraska

2013               Sign Here Quilters Guild York

2012               50@62 Textile Exhibition, Holden Gallery, Manchester

2012               Ardis James Tribute Exhibition, IQSC University of Nebraska

2011               Wordplay Stroud International Textiles Festival

2011               Threading Dreams with Sreepur Village,, Gallery Oldham

2009-10         Perspectives Contemporary quilt-makers, International Quilt Study Center, Nebraska USA

Lecturing and Teaching Roles

1992 –             Senior Lecturer, Textiles in Practice Manchester School of Art (0.5)

1992-2000    Visiting lecturer at various British colleges and Universities

2003 – 4          Tutor at Venture Arts, working with adults with learning disabilities in Manchester.

2012 –             Visiting tutor West Dean College, West Sussex

1993 – 98       Visiting lecturer, Goldsmiths College, London

1990 – 91       Weave tutor, Camphill Community, Juiz de Fora, Brazil

1989 – 91       Access tutor, Goldsmiths College, London

1987 – 90       Special Needs craft tutor, Lambeth Council

1986 – 90       Technician in Visual Arts Department, Goldsmiths College, London

1984 – 5          Youth Training Scheme tutor with NACRO in South London

Recent Papers

2018               Craft and Text. University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, Surrey.

2018               Arts and Heritage, Manchester School of Art.

2016               Stories of Collaborative Making: Two Rochdale Quilts with Alison Slater, in Quilt Studies.

2016               Review of The Event of the Thread by Hannah Leighton Boyce in Journal of Modern Craft.

2015               Keynote presentation at Making and Mending, the IQSC, international symposium, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

2012               Signature Cloths; Social Networking old and new. “Bengal to Baltimore” De Witt Museum, Williamsburg VA, USA

2012               Signature Cloths as Social Engagement The Arts in Society, John Moores University,

2012               Cultural Heritage and Quiltmaking The Association of Social Anthropologists Annual Conference, Delhi.








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