About the artist
Annalisa started her career as a costume designer, sparking her love of textiles and mythology. She worked for 6 years fabricating shimmering showgirls and resplendent Queens for theatre, television and the distinguished London reveller. There she learnt a variety of skills including corsetry, millinery and also taught dressmaking.
In 2015 she became a part of textile hub London and began the process of designing her own fashion pieces, experimenting with digital print, metal finishing’s and embroidery, culminating in her first solo exhibition. Middleton continued to look at her garments for their aesthetic pleasure but now also as objects of transformation and cultural significance. Her clothing designs are made to imbue the wearer with a certain kind of magic, evolved from years of study on the ritual of dress. The garments as a collection are intended as tools to create a happening, an atmospheric live environment allowing the artist to perpetuate her work as part of an expanding imagined world.
Since winning the Hand & Lock prize in 2016, embroidery has become the main focus of her current work. Entering the competition taught her much in the development of her sewing skills, especially in the technique of Goldwork, a type of high relief embroidery, using metal wires, traditionally used for military dress uniforms.
Taken out of the context of clothing, she noticed great potential for these techniques to be used as a form of illustration and graphic expression. Just as tapestries were once the centre piece of a home, displaying cumulative memories and traditional skills passed down through generations, so the artist has begun to use embroidery, to draw upon a rich heritage, imbibing textiles with symbols and mythologies of her own invention. These methods, originally intended for the embellishment of clothing now form the basis for stand-alone works of art and continue to shape her future practice as an artist.
The artist is now a studio holder at Cockpit arts in Deptford and welcomes you to visit during summer and winter open studios.