The working methods that Sally now employs are extensive including machine embroidery, hand stitching, drawing and painting techniques combined with forged and welded metal work.
The majority of work Sally produces are exhibition/event or competition pieces rather than work produced for commercial purposes. This allows her to cope with her ongoing health challenges although she occasionally takes on unusual commission work.
In 2016 Sally won the prestigious Hand & Lock prize for embroidery.
Sally Wilson was born in 1967 in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. Sally trained as a sculptor at Loughborough College of Art & Design gaining a first class honours degree before acquiring her textile skills through the City and Guilds Embroidery course.
Sally lives and works primarily in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire but spends a few weeks a year in London, which has encouraged a more imaginative response to accessible resources in each location.
In 2005 she suffered a traumatic brain injury and broke her drawing hand very badly. The accident had a drastic impact on the type of work Sally could produce. In the first two years of
recovery she had minimal use of her hand
and as a result, a simple free-stitch sewing
machine became her only drawing
Much of the work in the early recovery
phase reflected this but as her hand
improved the work has diversified to
incorporate her love of metal work and
The majority of Sally’s art pieces are initiated through sketches and quick studies and she acquires photographic evidence to back up her findings and aid in the development of pieces.
Sally always keeps a sketchpad or notepad close at hand, as ideas and concepts emerge as she works on other pieces. Due to the Head injury, she has very poor short-term memory: so it is essential to capture thoughts as they occur.
Inspiration comes from all aspects of life; urban through to natural environments and the wildlife which lives within it. This is determined by where Sally travels and what she experiences. First-hand findings are the most fruitful and she visits a multitude of locations to gather information relating to current projects.
Sally never uses computerized embroidery but prefers free machine stitch (with an old basic Bernina sewing machine & Darning Foot) as it allows her to ‘draw’ with various textile mediums and is fluid and organic in nature.