Alice Kettle

Lumpy, bulgy, human: Threads, at Arnolfini Bristol, reviewed

Trophy office blocks designed as landmarks are not welcoming to humans; their glass and steel reception areas feel more suited to robots. But this summer the cavernous lobbies of two City buildings – 99 Bishopsgate and 30 Fenchurch Street – have been humanised by To Boldly Sew, an exhibition of wall hangings by the winner of this year’s Brookfield Properties Crafts Award, Alice Kettle. As the owners of Renaissance palazzi and Jacobean mansions understood, wall hangings bring warmth and colour to a cold interior: once more prized than paintings, they doubled as decorations and draught excluders. Now, dignified with the name of ‘fibre arts’, fabrics are back in the fine-art