In 2015 we appointed the first Val Stoddart Fellowships as part of our new arts programme complimenting The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre.
The fellowship programme aims to provide textile artists with opportunities to develop their practice and create new work that responds to the unique and rich landscape of Northumberland National Park. This new work will form the basis for a solo show in a contemporary gallery within Northumberland.
The initiation of these fellowships reflects and contributes to our aspiration to help visitors enjoy the unique qualities of the Park, as well as offering communities within and around the Park the opportunity to engage with the appointed artists.
The aims of the Val Stoddart fellowships are:
• To support professional textile artists by offering opportunities to develop this field of artistic practice within the context of Northumberland National Park.
• To enable new textile work to be created that is ambitious, inventive and relates positively to this unique landscape and context.
• To reflect and contribute to our aspiration to help all visitors enjoy and understand the unique qualities of this area
• To offer communities within and around the Park the opportunity to engage with the artists during the development of their project.
Val Stoddart lived in the north of Northumberland National Park for many years and had a lifetime’s active interest in textiles and particularly in embroidery.
Val taught mathematics at schools in the south of England before moving to Northumberland where she became a strong supporter of the textile arts, taking an active interest in the Embroiderer’s Guild in Northumberland and the border regions.
On her death she left a bequest to Northumberland National Park that is being used to support the Val Stoddart Textile Fellowships. Through them we are creating opportunities for textile artists to develop their practice and make new work within the context of Northumberland National Park, the landscape she knew and loved so much.