Nigel Graham Cheney



Nigel Cheney is an English textile artist who has lived and worked in Dublin, Ireland for over 20 years. ‘Textile Surface Manipulation, 2013, published by Bloomsbury press and co-written with Dr. Helen McAllister is a recognized essential in textile education.

Research Outputs/Achievements- selected

  • 2014   ‘Decorated’ solo show, Knitting and Stitching show RDS
  • 2014 ‘CultureCraft’, NCG Kilkenny
  • 2013 ‘CultureCraft’ – UK City of Culture exhibition, London St. Gallery. DerryLondonderry
  • 2013   ‘Art and Style’ Brown Thomas Window, Grafton Street.
  • 2012   ‘Beauty in Nature’ at RDS Knitting and Stitching show with CCOI.
  • 2012   ‘hand stitch: perspectives’ book launch that toured Alexandra Palace, Dublin RDS and Harrogate.
  • 2012   RDS National Crafts Competition winner of printed textiles category. Winners’ Exhibition Tour
  • 2012    ‘Telling Stories’, Crawford College of Art, solo show, 4th to 11th March
  • 2011    Celebrate, DownPatrick Arts Centre. December 2011
  • 2011    ‘Goldilocks and the Bears’, 3 man show, Dalkey Heritage Centre, Co. Dublin, November 2011
  • 2011    Oisin Gallery, Westland Row, Dublin 2, October 2011 to March 2012
  • 2011    ‘Gone to the Dogs’, solo show, NCAD Gallery, National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Friday 6th May - Saturday 28th May 2011
  • 2010    Knitting and Stitching show as part of ‘Machine Stitch: Perspectives’ exhibition. Toured: London, Alexandra Palace; Dublin, RDS; Harrogate International Centre
  • 2010    ‘Machine Stitch: Perspectives’, Book launch exhibition, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
  • 2010    Carysfort gallery, Group Show- various watercolours, toured : Discovery park, Castlecomer, Wexford, Maxwell Motors, Dublin.
  • 2009    Consultant to ‘Lost Weekend’ Interiors, Wexford. Developing prototypes for embroidered fabric for the iconic Arne Jacobson ‘Egg Chair’. Featured at book launches and on Irish TV appearances by author Eoin Colfer in relation to ‘And Another Thing’.
  • 2008    Embroidered fabric for the Costume for Bach, Permanent collection, Madame Tussaurds, Berlin
  • 2008    RDS National Crafts Competition Winners Exhibition     
  • 2008    Fáilte Ireland Dublin Horse Show, August 6 - 10, 2008, RDS Concert Hall
  • 2008    Foxford Woollen Mills, Foxford, Co. Mayo September 2 - 25, 2008
  • 2008    National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny, October 4 - 27, 2008
  • 2008    Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, November 7 - 25, 2008
  • 2008    National Crafts & Design Fair, RDS, Dublin, December 3 - 7, 2008
  • 2008    Summer Exhibition at The Setanta Gallery, Irvinstown Co. Fermanagh August –September 2008
  • 2008    ‘Mechanical Drawing- The Schiffli project’, The Hub, Sleaford, UK
  • 2007    ‘Mechanical Drawing- The Schiffli project’, Holden Gallery, MMU
  • 2007    ‘Fabrications’ D.I.V.A. Group Show, Waterfront Hall, Belfast, 11th January to 2nd February 2007
  • 2006    Manchester Metropolitan University, invited to produce work on the MMU Industrial Schiffli machine for their ‘Mechanical Drawing’ project. This is funded by British Arts Council and resulted in a touring exhibition with catalogue through till late 2008.
  • 2006    ‘Through the Looking Glass’ two person show as part of ‘Flair’, Belfast Craft Fair, Kings Hall Belfast, 24th to 26th November 2006
  • 2006    ‘Land Beyond Time’, Casa del Castello di Borgo Maggiore, Republic of San Marino
  • 2005    ‘Wearable/Unwearable’ , National Crafts Gallery, Kilkenny
  • 2005    ‘Spring Show’, Cat and The Moon gallery, Sligo
  • 2004    ‘2 solo shows’, The Knitting and Stitching Show, RDS,  Dublin
  • 2004    ‘Texture’.  The Hub Gallery. Sleaford. UK
  • 2004    174th Annual exhibition, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin
  • 2004    ‘Lódz Tapestry Triennale’, Lódz, Poland
  • 2003    ‘Helping Hands’, Solo show, The Knitting and Stitching Show, RDS, Dublin
  • 2002    ‘The Gaps Between’, International Textile Biannual, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast
  • 2002    ‘ Appendices’, Solo Show. Knitting & Stitching Show, RDS. Dublin
  • 2001    ‘Focus on Drawing’. Touring Exhibition. Limerick, Cork, Dublin
  • 2001    Chinese Whispers –  Group Show, Poole, Dorset


  • 2014       ‘Textile Art Around the World’, Ellen Bakker
  • 2014       Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine
  • 2013       ‘Textile Surface Manipulation, Nigel Cheney and Helen McAllister, London, Bloomsbury ISBN 978-1-4081-5670-4
  • 2012      ‘Textiles, Art of Mankind’, Mary Schoeser, London, Thames and Hudson, November 2012. ISBN-10: 0500516456 | ISBN-13: 978-0500516454
  • 2012      ‘Hand Stitch, Perspectives’ Jane McKeating and Alice Kettle, London, A&C Black, October 2012 ISBN-10: 140812341X ISBN-13: 978-1408123416
  • 2012      ‘Embroidery’ Magazine, ‘Yarns and tales’ by Dr. Joseph McBrinn, September/October  issue 2012
  • 2011     ‘Embroidery’ Magazine March/April 11 issue
  • 2010     ‘Machine Stitch, Perspectives’ Jane McKeating, Alice Kettle, London, A&C Black
  • 2008      ‘Mechanical drawing- The Schiffli Project’ catalogue and DVD, Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-1-905476-17-6                                      
  • 2006      ‘Wearable/ Unwearable’ catalogue published by Crafts Council of Ireland
  • 2004       ‘Lódz Tapestry Triennale’, Catalogue. Lódz, Poland
  • 2003       ‘The Gaps between’ catalogue for International Textiles Biannual, published by Arts Council of England and Ormeau Baths Gallery
  • 1990      ‘The Machine Embroiderers’ workbook’, Val Holmes, Batsford.

Conferences/symposium attendance/papers

  • 2013       ‘collect-ed’, Objects in Focus Symposium, National Museum, Collins Barracks, Dublin
  • 2012       Cork textile Network Conference, presentation and workshop.
  • 2006       Lecture in the symposium “Common Threads’, National Museum, Collins Barracks, Dublin
  • 1995       ETN Conference, Manchester. Paper on “Design Education in Ireland”
  • 1994       Chaired Seminar group on Industrial Embroidery – U.C.E. Birmingham
  • 1991       ‘Patterns of Meanings of Patterns’, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.

Academic/Industrial training

  • 2007       Brother PR 600 CAD embroidery machine
  • 2005       ‘Managing and Developing People’, IPA Dublin
  • 1997       ‘Sirius’ PC Multi-head CAD System – Wilcom
  • 1995       ‘ES 60’ – Design Manager CAD System – Wilcom
  • 1991       'APS’, CAD System – Gunold + Stickma
  • 1990        ‘Steppex’, Saurer Quilting Division – Switzerland
  • 1988        Hewetsons – Macclesfield.  Schiffli Design

Nigel Cheney is an English textile artist who has lived and worked in Dublin, Ireland for over 20 years. ‘Textile Surface Manipulation, 2013, published by Bloomsbury press and co-written with Dr. Helen McAllister is a recognized essential in textile education.
His creative practice revolves around the act of drawing, painting and the production of stitched textiles has application for fashion, interiors, commission and gallery work. His background in Textiles has led him to a fascination with colour, surface and mark making. Textile works range form monumental to small scale, but all express a love of narrative, imagery, surface and colour. Natural forms such as birds, flowers and animals are studied in great depth, while his paintings explore the contrast between loose gestural grounds and detailed imagery. Enjoying a full pallete of textile processes including digital printing, hand and machine embroidery his work often explores ambiguous terrortories where childlike phrases and idioms are often reinterpreted and juxtaposed to create new images.
After gaining a first class B.A (hons) Textiles, with Commendation in Art History, in 1990, Nigel Cheney graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1991 with an MA Textiles. He has held the position of Lecturer in Embroidered Textiles at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin since 1993.

He has exhibited widely in Ireland and Internationally and his work is in many private collections. In the summer of 2013 his work was shown as part of the ‘Art and style’ exhibition in the windows of Brown Thomas, Grafton St. In 2008 his work was purchased by the Crafts Council of Ireland for their permanent collection and his work is also in the permanent collection at Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire. He has been the Republic of Ireland Selector for the Lódz Tapestry Triennale, Poland, since 2000.

He is an expert in the field of Industrial Multi head embroidery and has worked with several companies in Ireland and the UK.
Winner of medals in the Irish RDS National Craft Competition for Embrodiered Textiles in 2008 and for Printed textiles in 2012, he is now the judge for the textiles category.

This summer he is part of the project ‘Adaptations’ in which he explores a return to portraiture. This group show of 5 of Irelands top crafts people will take place in the prestigious Farmleigh Gallery for teh Offic of Public Works. Concentrating on the protagonists from Shakespeare’s comedies his interest in the depiction of narrative through the relationship of image and object, face and frame. Research work with costume designers has led him to an interest in employing an unorthodox appraoch to depicting charcater and dialogue through objects that will act as a vehicle to display the stitched textiles. Vintage fabrics will form the basis of this work allowing the layering of images and text over materials that evoke memory and engage with the complexity of Shakespeare’s characters.

He is also engaged in working towards a substantial solo show for the National Craft and Design Centre, Sleaford Englad in 2017.

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