top of page

Craft, Health and Wellbeing

Wednesday 02 December 2020


Rajni Patel (Chair)

Rajni has over 20 years of experience working as a planner, visual artist, creative producer and arts officer undertaking fundraising, policy and programme development, strategic planning and consultancy with arts and cultural sector agencies, creative industries and government. In 2010 Rajni joined Arts Council England as a Relationship Manager for Children Young People and Learning. Since 2015 he has been developing his artistic practice based on being with trees and making with wood. Working with schools to support  young people having the right to explore their own creativity whilst valuing nature and being a steward of the future. In February 2017 Rajni was awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship - Making Makers: Learning from Indian and Japanese craft practice.


Adil Iqbal

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Adil Iqbal studied Textile Design at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh before working in the industry all over Europe, including France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. Adil’s designs have been showcased at celebrated fashion weeks in London and New York and worked with high profile labels, including Hugo Boss, TataNaka and Popinjay. Building on his interdisciplinary background he successfully completed a Master’s degree in Anthropology, Art and Perception in 2016 from the University of St Andrews.

Adil uses methods, such as collaborative practice, narrative art and digital media to discover new ways of creating a bridge between western and indigenous craft culture. He was awarded the prestigious Dewar Art Award for a cross- cultural arts project ‘Twilling Tweeds’ connecting traditional Scottish and Chitrali cultures through weaving, and hand embroidery. He conducted a series of art workshops with the local communities exploring cultural similarities between Scotland and Pakistan. Narrative discussions, life drawings and digital art mediums were used to develop storyboards and final artworks.


Satish Sah

Satish Sah is the Manager of the Janakpur Women’s Development Center (JWDC) and has been working with JWDC since 2018. JWDC received a grant from the Wellcome Trust, UK under Public Engagement Fund in 2018 to spread awareness about the prevention and control of Type 2 diabetes in Dhanusha district, Nepal where the JWDC is located. The awareness campaign culminated in a funfair festival in which thousands people got their blood glucose tested and also received information about nutrition. In 2020, JWDC won commendable UCL Provost's Public Engagement Award for this project.


Gabriela Martínez Ortiz

Gabriela Martínez Ortiz, (MEX) is a designer, and textile artist, the creator of Ofelia & Antelmo, a textile art project that studies hand embroidery. Ofelia represents community, the work of a cooperative of women to make handmade garments designed to be one-size-fits-all, reversible, and timeless. Antelmo represents Gabriela’s personal creative journey, as the clothes become canvases where she explores techniques, supports, fabrics, textures, and colors. Her s work is governed by the philosophy of the Slow Movement, a cultural revolution that aims to calm human activities. A reaction against speed by valuing processes enjoyment and savoring life through the art of slow-making. This way of creating has set Gabriela´s lifestyle and for the past year and a half, she has been teaching her technique and way of seeing life to thousands of people around the globe. 

PDF link to Gabriela's presentation:

Monkia Auch

Monika Auch has a background in medicine (University of Amsterdam) and textiles (Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam) with a focus on weaving. Her visual work and research focusses on ‘The intelligence of the hand’, realized in projects and in sculptural work.

‘Stitch_Your_Brain’ project is an exploration and reflection on the hand-brain-creativity-wellbeing axis. It started in 2014 in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience, Amsterdam and developed into an international empirical study, set-up and run by Monika.

Weeflab_Amsterdam, set up in 2016 is an investigation into the many aspects of weaving as a technique and metaphor. Weeflab’s outreach program takes part in and hosts events for a broad public.

In her studio practice Monika fuses digital CAD/CAM with traditional methods and draws both from a scientific way of thinking and an intuitive drive to make work. Since 2008 she is editor to Dutch ‘kM journal’ and author. In interviews and articles her focus lies on artist’s material and technical knowledge in order to support the ongoing research into the intelligence of the hand.


bottom of page