Meet Alice Burnhope, Make and Reuse course facilitator
Alice Burnhope. Photo by Luke Burnhope

Meet our artist community: Q&As

Part of an ongoing series, members of our artist community share insights about their work, their stories and their relationship to ACAVA. Visit this page to read more.

Alice Burnhope is one of eight highly skilled artists and makers who worked with ACAVA in 2023 to run Make and Reuse Creative Workshops, a series of free creative courses inspired by the circular economy and sustainability. Learn more about Alice’s ‘Sustainable Textile Techniques’ course here.

Read on to learn more about her studio practice, current projects and plans for the future.


Alice Burnhope

Art practice
Socially Engaged, Sustainable Textiles and Natural Dyeing

Where can we find your work?

Alice Burnhope, A Sense of Nature. Photo by Luke Burnhope

Would you like to tell us about yourself?

I’m an award-winning textile artist and artist educator, based at Cockpit Studios in Deptford, London. I was born and raised in the Black Country, West Midlands and have a first-class degree in Textiles: Innovation and Design from Loughborough University, East Midlands. In 2021, I moved to London after being awarded the ‘Make It Count’ prize by Cockpit Studios. This award provided me with a free studio space and specialised business mentoring, fulfilling a dream I had after graduating in 2020 as I had no knowledge of running a textile practice or navigating the craft world.

What kind of art do you make?

I specialise in socially engaged artwork, collaborating with the public to co-create immersive installations and sculptural wearable art. These projects aim to support well-being and foster a connection to nature. As a socially engaged artist, I’ve conducted high-quality community skill-sharing workshops, empowering local voices and amplifying their stories to a broader audience.

Photo by Alice Burnhope
Alice Burnhope, We are Lewisham Wearable Map

What themes are you interested in?

My art practice is centred on the tactile human experience. How the body and mind respond to the textural surface qualities of the artwork and how their bodies are immersed within the piece to support their wellbeing. These sensorial qualities are inspired by my haptic experiences when immersed in nature, to highlight the importance of the natural world and its therapeutic properties.

Who are your main artistic influences?

Chiharu Shiotia and Magdalena Abakanowicz are two female artists who have pushed the boundaries on size, medium, and concepts beyond the conventional canvas and white gallery walls, creating physical immersive spaces for the audience to interact with.

Alice Burnhope, Bum II. Photo by Alice Burnhope
Alice Burnhope, Community Quilt ArtHouse Jersey

What inspires you to make art?

Frustration and anxiety, as cliché as it sounds, are drivers for me in creating art. Art serves as a form of therapy, allowing me to create connections, comfort, and verbalise my ideas visually and tactilely. Triggering the audience’s senses to showcase my concepts, eases my anxieties and frustrations created by my disabilities.

What materials do you use? What do you like about those?

My practice is based on sustainable textile techniques, such as utilising waste materials/textiles and traditional crafts like natural dyeing, embroidery, patchwork, quilting, and pattern cutting.

Can you tell us about your artistic career so far?

I’ve been fortunate enough to become an emerging artist since graduating in 2020. I’ve showcased at prominent venues including Hayward Gallery, Alexandra Palace, ArtHouse Jersey and London Craft Week.

Alice Burnhope, Smudge & Moss. Photoby Luke Burnhope

Do you collaborate with others? Who with and how?

I adore collaboration! Collaborating with various ages and with museums, creative organisations, charities, youth services, secondary schools and brands to deliver inspiring art-based workshops.

So far I’ve collaborated with Buckingham Palace, Hayward Gallery, Now Gallery, Greenwich Peninsula, ArtHouse Jersey, Sarabande Foundation, London Craft Week, Toast, American Vintage, Adidas, Hole & Corner, Katie Treggiden, Colour of Saying, Spitalfields London, Lewisham Borough of Culture, Arts 4 Dementia, Crafts Council, Royal Maritime Museums, Migration Museum, Maxilla Men’s Shed at ACAVA, St George’s Hospital and Deptford Secondary School.

Where do you want to take your art next?

I aspire to create larger-scale installation artwork, co-creating with marginalised communities and individuals with disabilities through the power of textiles and nature. I aim to inspire and create playful community spaces supporting a more inclusive and harmonious world. My goal is to interactively promote nature’s ability to improve personal well-being grounded in a holistic, socially, and environmentally considered philosophy.

Alice Burnhope, Earth's Embrace. Photo by Annie Boothroyd
Alice Burnhope, Unrooted. Photo by Luke Burnhope

What advice would you give to new artists starting out?

Adore what you do and network, network, network!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?

Within every artwork, you don’t need to ‘throw the kitchen sink at it’! I still struggle not to overwork my artworks.

Alice Burnhope. Photo by Alexander Mourant

Do you have any upcoming shows or events?

I’ll be creating my largest immersive soft sculpture installation to date. ‘Stone upon Stone’ is inspired by Jersey’s Dolmens and geology and works in collaboration with five community groups. The installation will be exhibited from 21 March to 5 May 2024 at Capital House, St Helier Jersey.

As ArtHouse Jersey puts it, “‘The Land and Us’ project is about reconnection to the land through journeys, collective making and experiences. It is also about looking and taking notice of the world around us to develop deeper connections and empathy. At a time when climate change threatens our very existence, with the global community not adequately responding to the threat, it calls to question the need for a transformation of human to non-human relationships. Through a year-long community and educational programme, we will place interconnectivity, mutual understanding and community at the heart of this project. We will work with different members of the community (adults, young people, children and schools), and people that work the land such as farmers, and those that may feel disconnected from nature.”

How would you describe your workshops?

A wholesome skill-sharing experience, where participants learn transferable skills and engage in thoughtful conversations while engrossed in traditional textile techniques.

Sustainable Textile Techniques, a course led by Alice Burnhope at Maxilla Men's Shed