Textile artist makes her exhibition debut at the age of 86

Needlewoman Joannie Prichard-Barrett is having an exhibition of her needlepoint at the Ephmeral Gall

Needlewoman Joannie Prichard-Barrett is having an exhibition of her needlepoint at the Ephmeral Gallery in Saxmundham called "Sewing at Sea." - Credit: Su Anderson

An artistic embroiderer who has been stitching for half a century is embracing the opportunity to showcase her needlework publicly for the first time.

Joannie Pritchard-Barrett debut exhibition, at the age of 86, can be seen at the recently launched Ephemeral Gallery in her hometown of Saxmundham until June 12.

Mrs Pritchard-Barrett picked up crocheting and crewel work from her grandmothers in America before moving to Britain, where she married David – the son of a military friend made by her father, with whom she had corresponded by letter since the age of 13.

She was taught canvas work in her late 50s and perfected the art while sailing with her late husband. She found great solace in stitching beside of her husband of 52 years during his long struggle with motor neuron disease.

“I still love doing it,” she said. “In a way, it’s like therapy for me – and I hope to inspire other people to try.”


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Gallery owner, Ruth Purchase said: “I’m so proud to be exhibiting her work, which I’ve had my eye on for the last 10 years. As soon as the gallery came about, I was already plotting to bring her stitching out as an artform for everyone to see.”

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