Sunday, 11 September 2016


I have been quite unwell this year and had surgery from which I am still recovering and so was not at the exhibition very much at either Coffin Works or National Needlework Archive but for the final outing of the work this year I will be present at The Cornershop Gallery in Clerkenwell for the week from 12th until 18th September.
This will be the longest time I will have spent with the completed work (except when I was stitching them) and so it will give me chance to sit and look for a while and remember.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016


We've talked before about how grief is not a straight line and how time can become elastic. The exhibition has moved from my home town down to the National Needlework Archive in Greenham, I am missing it as before whilst at the Coffin Works it was just around the corner and I could visit whenever I wanted to. I miss people all the time but I did not think that I would miss the exhibition being so close or that it would begin to remind me of who I am missing.

I know it is still around but not being able to touch and see it is fazing me a little. I suppose the similarities to grief are all too obvious in that my memories of people are still real to me it's just that I cannot meet them to make new ones. The big difference of course is that I will be reunited with the work real soon when I take it to the smallest gallery in London - The Corner Shop in Clerkenwell.

The Corner Shop is at 21 Clerkenwell Green and I will be there from 11 until 7 every day, stitching, talking and listening. It will be great to see you there. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Space to think

Veneer - Tina Francis

The exhibition is in its final stages at The Coffin Works, I have learned a lot and am now (after a short illness) able to be at the exhibition a lot more. On Friday 15th July I will be at the exhibition giving a short introduction to the work, talking about where it will be going next and inviting people to learn how to stitch.  The stitching session is much more about introducing stitch rather than leaving with a finished item.
During the exhibition I have listened to many stories about how stitching has helped people by giving them a space to breath and so I hope that this session will do that for those that attend.
The work is moving on to The National Needlework Archive and then to London at Craft Central in September. The spaces are different to that at the Coffin works and so will include more print work as well as the originals.
Over the weekend of 23rd and 24th July I will again be at the Coffin Works as part of Jewellery Quarter Open Studios, there are more than 50 open studios and workshops around the Jewellery Quarter so it would be nice to see you as part of this event which really does introduce the maker to the audience.
Contemplation is a theme that has come through from the comments book, the space at Coffin Works allows for time to be spent sitting and thinking so if you want time to think and breath then do come along to the exhibition where I hope to provide just that.

Monday, 18 April 2016


Tina Francis 2016

Does talking about something cause it to happen? Does writing a will invite the inevitable? Or is being organised the kindest gift you can give to help others through their bereavement? I have been thinking about this a lot lately as I attended a funeral where the deceased had left a full list of who to contact for what should the need arise. As reported by Dying Matters today Royal London has published a new report called "Losing a partner - the financial and practical consequences", the report interviewed 500 people who had been bereaved in the last 5 years and many of them expressed a wish for action as well as words. We are living in a virtual and physical world and something as simple as keeping as list of your passwords could mean the difference between an alright day and a hopeless day.
Dying Matters Awareness Week from 9th May - 15th May is looking at just this topic in their big conversation which this year uses the tag line "Talking about dying won't make it happen", there are many events around the country but it's not essential to go to them but maybe just talk to your nearest and dearest and look at who pays what bill, this is not as a glib a statement as it seems with the Royal London Report stating that 42% of participants were financially and practically unprepared.
The third stage of grief is "Anger and Bargaining" and whether this means anger at the world or at the deceased or at the red tape that you are going through perhaps a little planning could go a long way to reducing or at least blunting the edges a little. I am not sure whether knowing where all the keys are kept will make me any better at dealing with grief in the future but at least I will know how to open the door and let the people who care for me in.

7 Stages of Grief opens at Coffin Works, Fleet Street, Birmingham on 4th May and runs until 29th July. May 13th as part of its participation in Museums at Night and in conjunction with Funeral Partners UK Coffin Works will be holding their own big conversation check their website for details.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Stitching is a very meditative process and when I look at a completed piece I can remember exactly what I listened to and where I stitched it. When you are stitching it really is impossible to think about anything else, the music and place slip in but concentrating on the work means I am able to take a break from everything going on around me.

The exhibition at Coffin Works will include stitching sessions, we will follow a simple pattern choosing colours that are dear to you or those that have died and create a really unique piece of work for display on your lapel or to get framed for your wall at home. The sessions will last for around 90 minutes and whether we have music or not I really hope that the memory of making will be one you will treasure.

The exhibition opens on 4th May and the following week (9th - 15th May) is Dying Matters Awareness Week which this year is promoting talking and listening about bereavement,death and dying with their theme "The Big Conversation". Do take a look at their page which is full of information and care.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Tapestry Needlepoint Art

I am a tapestry needlepoint artist and will be using this page in 2016 to promote my solo exhibition "7 Stages of Grief" which will open at The Coffin Works in Birmingham in May and then travel down to the National Needlework Archive at the beginning of August.

Being from Birmingham, the city of 1000 trades, I am surrounded by people making what we need and then fixing what is broken, we get on with things here, we follow processes. That cannot be said of grief.

Grief is not a straight path, a race or a tick list but as a maker driven by process and rules investigating the 7 stages of grief has helped me to understand and accept that not everything that is broken can be totally fixed we just have to take more time to make it work. 

I will be adding more details about this exhibition, the workshops and seminars that will run alongside it in the coming weeks and months.