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Lorna Hamilton-Brown MBE

MA work

Knitting the Blues is a music video that explores how a person, suffering from depression and anxiety, is affected by knitting a ‘Tension Bird’. The project’s aim is to aid and encourage people to experience the benefits of knitting for well-being. The film features cameo appearances from knitwear designers: Jeanette Sloan, Brandon Mably, Laduma Ngxokolo and Kaffe Fassett.  

‘Tension Birds’ are thus named as they relieve stress as well as being based on the creation of a knitted/crocheted tension square. They are easy to make and offer a quick portable project. 

The creatures help people explore materiality, aid community engagement, provide comfort, relieve stress and will change the world one bird at a time. 


  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Textiles, 2018

  • I am a knitting evangelist who combines her skills as an artist, researcher, educator, knitwear designer, performer and film maker to make social comment. I am keen to challenge the stereotypes associated with who knits. I have created the knitting characters Rapper Lorna H-B and Lady Yarnarella. My MA dissertation ‘Myth: Black People Don't Knit - the importance of art and oral histories for documenting the experiences of black knitters’, was awarded a distinction and recommended for publication. My current project ‘Tension Birds’ explores the therapeutic benefits of knitting for well-being and raises awareness of mental health issues.

  • Degrees

  • 1st Class Hons BA Digital Multimedia Design, De Montfort University, 2002
  • Experience

  • Artist / Designer 2010 - present; Industry Liaison Co-ordinator & Tutor, Ravensbourne, London 2010 - 2011; Project Manager, East Midland NTI Creative Industries Centre for Knowledge Exchange, De Montfort University, Leicester 2010; Lecturer - Interactive Design, De Montfort University, Leicester 2005 -2010; Sessional Art Worker, Leicester City Council, 1999- 2000; Lecturer - Art Foundation, Leicester College 1999
  • Exhibitions

  • Real to Reel Crafts Council Film Festival, Picturehouse Central, London 2017
  • Awards

  • Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters Award, Finalist 2018; Haberdashers’ Company Prize - Finalist 2017; Shima Seiki Student Competition, Finalist 2017; Queen Elizabeth Trust Scholarship, Finalist 2017; Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2007; Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) 2004; Winner of the Community Award at the GG2 (Garvi Gujarat) National Leadership & Diversity Awards
  • Conferences

  • Black People Don't Knit? In the Loop, Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, 19-20 July 2018.