Nadia Bettega / Pimlico Academy / Visual Literacy activities

Stitching and Embroidery Work – Form and Photography

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How stitching and embroidering work alters materials, size, presentation

Materials needed:



Found Photographs (Or Vintage Black and White images found on internet – later to be mounted on card)

Different Coloured Thread





PowerPoint illustrating embroidered photographs by Maurizio Anzieri or stitched photographs by Andy Warhole

Prepare talk about how the art pieces were made, what effect it has on the final piece (e.g. defacing, feelings evoked, repetition of the image, purpose of the thread, colour used against black and white, individuality of the piece)

Source examples if vintage photographs in advance of the session and examples of images that might work well as repeated images. 

Print these images out


  1. Show PowerPoint beginning with Maurizio Anzieri Embroidered works (portraits vintage photographs) And then show them Andy Warhol’s works (repeated often tightly cropped everyday objects). Discuss these in terms of personal reaction, content, subject, from, meaning. Prompt with how does the image make you feel, what sort of art works are these, what makes them artistic, what is the subject matter, who/what is in them,  how has the artist treated the image, how does the form/feeling change, are they individual or replicable pieces (one offs vs mass produced). Discuss.
  2. Distribute images that have been previously sourced
  3. Students are asked to:

Select an image they would like to work with

Mount it onto card with a small amount of glue (too much would make it moist) – this is to give the photo a bit more substance

Choose what colour thread they’d like to work with

Create small holes within the mounted image where they will sew through with thread

Experiment with different types of thread colour and stitches.

Recreate the scenes with the images they have received

Work together as a team and see how ‘parts affect the whole’

How can the students add their own personal touch to the collages

The same activity can be carried out with repeated images inspired by Andy Warhol. Students can be encouraged to crop into images in order to make it more ‘mechanised’ or ‘abstract looking’. If the images are in black and white encourage the students to try working with white vs black vs coloured thread and don’t be shy of allowing threads to ‘hang’ off the pieces to be part of the art work. This could be done with a sewing machine – if you have access to these.

Students present how these ‘little parts’ impact the wider photo and what effect ‘repetition’ has.


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