Sabine Kaner MSDC

Stitched & Constructed Textiles

About Sabine
Sabine is a mixed-media textile artist working in hand stitch. Exploring narratives and memories generated by socio-political issues, telling untold stories of British identity and immigration from the perspective of a minority experience; whilst capturing the stories of our time, conscious of trying to re-balance the lack of minority voices within art, craft and design.
Biography Back to top

Sabine was born in Germany and grew up in London during the 1960s and 70s. Both her parents were immigrants, one from Europe and one from Jamaica. She had the privilege of growing up with three quite different cultures, navigating and developing her personal understanding of identity. In this environment, she was exposed to many different crafts and making traditions from around the world.

In her work, she explores and embraces many different techniques and materials to create a modern interpretation of textile and hand stitching. Sometimes collaborating with other artists, to develop and understand materials that are incorporated into the work. During her Arts Council, England grant, Sabine was able to collaborate with other artists, such as a glass maker, explore photographic transfer printing techniques, work with a furniture maker, and design scarfs abstracted from her work. Most of these techniques have been used to incorporate into her work and refer to when teaching workshops.

Drawing underpins the development of Sabine’s compositions and is always the starting point. From there the work develops through layers of painting, printing topped with layers of fabrics and hand stitching all collaged together. An important aspect of her work is the use of repurposed clothing and knitting, building up texture through stitching and often inserting found or unusual textured fabrics and materials.

Colour is an important aspect of her work and is used in iconographic ways. As a metaphor to describe emotions and as a symbol and to represent cultural context.

Simple stitches are used, occasionally inventing some to suit the materials being stitched into. Design and composition are particularly important aspects of the work. The use of pattern, designing her own forms and shapes taken from nature to create abstract designs, which are then combined to blend the two together.

The narration of her solo exhibitions called ‘hand stitched stories’ tell thought provoking accounts of the Windrush experience through themes of identity and experiences of being from a mixed-cultural background (Sabine’s father arrived in the U.K. from Jamaica in 1948 on the HMS Windrush), and some of the past difficulties of integration into British life.

Sabine has worked with people from different backgrounds who have added much to the thought process and ideas in her work, particularly those from the West Indian community. Stories of mental illness and environmental issues are often included, as Sabine has been a carer and active environmentalist for many years.

Sabine is influenced by creators, designers and makers from the past and present, such as the Succession artists in the early part of the 20th century, the modernist architecture of the Bauhaus and its proponents, the arts and crafts movements in the UK, American folk art and outsider artists, but also nature and the environment are a constant in her work, appearing as symbols that remind us of our connection to the wider world.

Resumé Back to top


  • St. Martins School of Art (1978-80) Foundation in Art and Design
  • Manchester School of Art (1981-84) BA (Hons) Fine Art - Printmaking
  • Central School of Art (1983-84) Advanced printmaking
  • Holborn College, London (1984-85) Business Studies
  • York College of FE and HE (1989-91) City & Guilds - Embroidery
  • Hackney College, London, City guilds adult teacher training for FE (1984-85)
  • Hughenden Manor/National Trust (2008-09) City & Guilds Botanical and landscape gardening
  • Open University (1999-2001) Level 5 and 6 Mental health/Child development
  • University of Hertfordshire (2003-05) PGDip Art Therapy
  • Open University (2005-06) PG Dip Art history
  • Bucks New University (2005-07) Diploma in Counselling (BACP)


  • Saatchi, London (1984-86) Marketing assistant
  • British airways, London – (1986-88) Marketing associate
  • Art Gallery assistant, Easingwold, York (1989-90)
  • Shambles Interiors, The shambles, York (1990-92) Interior design assistant
  • St John’s c/e primary school, Buckinghamshire (2006-08) Specialist art teacher for ‘creativity’ theme as artist in residence
  • Forest Green [sole trader] (2002-2005) Buckinghamshire. Arts crafts maker-freelance business – invited trader at Jansen Cylag/RAF/Strike Command.

Solo exhibitions

Group exhibitions

  • Knitting & Stitching shows, London and Harrogate (2023) Selected artist with solo show https://www.theknittingandstit...
  • SitSelect [Stroud international textiles] (2018/19/21) Opens studios
  • Outside in (2020 ) ‘Unlocked’
  • Queen Mary University, Being Human Festival, AHRC ( 2020)
  • NAE competition (2019) NAE Open, selected artist
  • Whitechapel Gallery - (2020) ‘in search of (im)possibilities’
  • Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke (2023) invited artist for Windrush exhibition https://www.hampshireculture.o... and feature https://advisor.museumsandheri...
  • States of Existence, Hackney, (2018) invited artist
  • SEAS socially engaged art salon, Brighton, (2021) ‘Windrush Presence’ invited artist
  • Bromley House Library, Nottingham, (2019) invited artist, Arts exhibition.


  • Arts Council England, award DYCP (2022/23)
  • Stroud Museum in the Park, Artist’s award (2022)


  • New Art Exchange, Nottingham. Artist led designed textile project for West Indian community in Nottingham (2019-20)
  • Specialist artist designed online workshops x 2 (2020 & 2022)
  • Stroud Museum in the Park artist led weekend workshops x 3 (Winter 2022 & autumn 2023)
  • Artist in residence at Framework Knitters Museum, Nottinghamshire with invited piece of work produced (2021)
  • Individual artwork of Saffron Walden Director of Music (2021)
  • Nine small pieces for a collector in Cambridge (2023-24)
Other Makers in Stitched & Constructed Textiles