Jenni Dutton: Capturing The Complexities Of Aging Through Textile Art


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Today we meet Jenni Dutton who shares stories around her powerful work and the unique way in which she creates her large portraits. Although starting her creative journey as a fine artist, creating large oil pastel landscapes, Jenni ventured into textile art portraits.

We talk about how life takes unexpected twists and how surprising opportunites can pop up as we share our work and thoughts. Jenni's largest body of work is her Dementia Darnings which document the emotional journey of her mum as she declined through dementia. Jenni has also started to explore her own ageing process through her Absurd Sewn Selfies series. She wonders if she could still be making those into her eighties!

Susan Weeks chats with Jenni Dutton about:

  • The challenge of going back to a series you thought you had finished
  • The theme of loss and repair with darning
  • Trying a new approach with her latest portrait
  • Why mask off areas on a piece of work?
  • Don't let your logical brain upset your artistic vision
  • The anxiety caused by deadline
  • Discovering the delights of Anchor tapestry wools
  • The emotions involved whilst documenting her mum's decline through dementia
  • Confronting one's own ageing
  • The horrors of 'lockdown' hair!
  • Sharing our work as a counterbalance to our solo artistic time
  • Can embroidery be improved with a blow torch..... or beeswax!
  • Problems with moths, anyone?
  • Being fierce about guarding our time

For this episode... View Show Notes, Links & Examples of Jenni's work at




Related Stitchery Stories episodes you might like:

Other Places & People Mentioned:

The Horniman Museum

University Of Iowa Medical Museum Gallery

The Absent Gallery

This is where you can visit Jenni's 'Dementia Darnings' exhibition in a virtual gallery.

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