An inquisitive and enquiring mind, coupled with a broad-based education in textiles from Glasgow School of Art, and The Royal College of Art provided a base from which to question materials, processes and contexts for textiles. Lindy Richardson practiced both in the commercial textile arena, fine art practice and in community education whilst forging a career as a lecturer. Lindy dedicated her career to lecturing from 1997. As Programme Director of Textiles since 2000, Lindy has broadened the activities of the programme, developing embroidery and mixed media along with printed textiles. Challenging preconceptions about the nature of textiles and the exploration of materials as a vehicle to extend techniques and applications, along with an acute awareness of equality in opportunity, have been a constant in both teaching and continued practice in Art and Design.
Having been teaching in universities since 1987, Lindy sees her role in education as truly vocational. Despite more than 30 years of experience, she strives to continue to develop her practice as a lecturer.
Teaching across undergraduate, postgraduate and supervising PhD, Lindy’s energy and enthusiasm for materials, colour, processes and the possibilities which come from challenging the norm, are at the centre of all teaching activities.
Community outreach through collaborative projects enriches teaching experience through workshops with prisons, schools and community groups. Partnership projects bringing these groups together with ECA students, has brought about fruitful results.
Lindy holds the strong belief that by continuing to challenge processes expectations and perceived boundaries, the University community and partners can continue to push for innovation and change though education.
Historic embroidery, conservation and widening access
Virgin Christian Saints
Needlework Development Scheme (1934-1961) Embroidery Collection.
Curator 2011 to present. This collection of embroidered items ranging from 17th to 20th century was originally part of a larger collection set up by J&P Coats yarn manufacturer in 1934 as a handling teaching collection.
2013 Challenge Investment fund enabled the gathering of oral histories across the UK of people who had worked for or been associated with the scheme, complimenting the sample and archival materials collection both here in ECA and nationally.
2016 Heritage Lottery Fund: This project funded the creation of conservation mounts for 70 pieces in the ECA collection. These were made through workshops conducted by Lindy Richardson in local prisons, with community groups egg migrants and refugees, and in local secondary schools. Workshops with guild members and amateur experts analysed stitch content of all samples. The creation of videos of members demonstrating each of the stitches are embedded in a custom-built website for the collection. www.embroideredstories.eca.ed.ac.uk
2019 Heritage Lottery Fund: Touching stitches project. Continuing community outreach, this project strives to make the NDS collection accessible to blind and visually impaired users. Research into the potential of 3D scanning of the historic embroidery samples has resulted in 3D printed pieces as tactile handling interpretative objects. Working in partnership with the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) as consultants and advisers, this funded project broadens access to University archives. Close up photos of details in the embroidery collection are digitally printed on fabrics and subsequently stitched back into through community workshops, creating accurate replicas as tactile handling samples. For this project HLF funding enabled Lindy to conduct workshops in Corntonvale women’s’ prison and Edinburgh prison.
Textiles as a tool for communication and change
2016: Contemporary commemorative cloths. Collaborative student project with National Museums Scotland. In response to African political cloths in the NMS collection, students created cloths to communicate political, cultural and social problems in our own society.
2018: Processions.Lindy was one of 100 Artist commissioned by Artichoke trust to work with groups and organisations to make banners celebrating 100 years of women voting in the UK. This culminated in national marches, The University of Edinburgh/Scottish Prison service banner leading a 10,000 women strong momentous march through the street of Edinburgh. The banner was made in sections at workshops within the women’s’ prison at Cortonvale and with students and staff in the University of Edinburgh, proclaiming “every one is equal”. Working on this premise each contributor worked in the same format, creating their own textile slogan in response to historic and contemporary suffrage and feminist issues. All individual components were united stitched onto the banner.
Internal funding RKEO supported a series of workshops with staff and students in the University to contribute to Processions 2018.