is a fine-art textile practitioner, educator and researcher.

Mona’s practice interrogates an Indian whitework embroidered christening gown and an indigo resist-print cloth. This work unravels cultural dislocation and the relational entanglements across space and time linked to the cloths. Both cloths are rooted in traditional textile techniques.

Photographic, print and textile methods are applied in a cross disciplinary and experimental approach. Using light, cloth, stitch, drawing and digital processes, Mona creates installations and prints in “in-between” spaces. Printmaking mirrors the entangled complexity.

The ingrained legacy of European colonisation and the experience of living in a postcolonial nation influence the work.

Exhibitions and Residencies

Sept 2020 (postponed to Sept 2021)

Continuum, Group Exhibition,
OXO Gallery, London Design Festival,London

Feb/Mar 2020

Shifthink, Art-Textiles in the Provincial, Arundel, Sussex

Dec 2018

Pop-up Exhibition, East Street, Farnham

Sept 2018

Continuum 2, Group Exhibition, London Design Festival, London

Sept 2017

Eleven, Group Exhibition, The Strand Gallery, London

Aug 2017

Postgraduate Exhibition, UCA, Farnham

Sept 2016

Makers at Menier, Group Exhibition, London Design Festival, London

Jun-Dec 2016

Contemporary Narratives, Crafts Study Centre (CSC) and UCA, Farnham


Aug 2020

Making Space, Hampshire Online Open Studio, Associate maker, instagram takeover event,
Making Space, Havant

Aug 2019

Making Space, Hampshire Open Studios, Associate maker, Making Space, Havant

May 2017

Artist Demonstration Day, Watts Gallery, Compton

Feb, Apr 2017

Ethel Mairet Response, Ditchling Museum, Ditchling

Publications and Papers

Sep 2019

Craven, M. (2019) Reflecting a Diaspora: In-between Whitework and Indigo.

In: Textile, Cloth and Culture. Volume 17, 2019 – Issue 4: Textile and Place.

London, Taylor & Francis.

Available here

May 2016

Craven, M. (2016) Skirt Cloth.

In: Contemporary Narratives, School of Crafts and Design project 2015-2016 [Catalogue].

Farnham: Crafts Study Centre and University for the Creative Arts.


Jan 2021

An encounter with culturally dislocated cloth.

[Online] Postcolonialism, Postcommunism and Postmodernism Conference, 3rd International Interdisciplinary Conference.

Gdansk, Poland

Jun 2019

In-between Whitework and Indigo Resist Cloth.

Fashioning Inclusivity 2019 Symposium: Textiles and Materials strand,

University of the Arts, London

Apr 2019

Reflecting Cultural Dislocation: In-between Whitework and Indigo Resist.

Postcolonialism, Postcommunism and Postmodernism, 2nd International

Interdisciplinary Conference. Gdansk, Poland

July 2018

The artist printed-form: a craft in-between letterforms, exhibition, July 2018 audience and meaning.

Craft and Text conference: Crafts Study Centre and International Textile

Research Centre, UCA, Farnham

Apr 2018

Reflecting a Diaspora: In-Between Whitework and Indigo Resist.

Textile and Place Conference: Politics of Migration, Displacement strand.

Manchester School of Art and the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester

Accepted Abstracts

Jul/Aug 2019

The Absent Presences – In-Between Whitework and Indigo Resist

Nordic Summer University: Summer Symposium Absences and Silences

Circle 7 Artistic Research | Performing Heterotopia. Roosta, Estonia

May 2018

In-Between Whitework and Indigo Resist.

IAFOR, International Conference on Global Studies (GLOBAL2018),

Fearful Futures strand. Barcelona, Spain

Artist Statement

Thread and the resistant surface. How does the cloth tell the tale?

The space that I am drawn to work with belongs to a liminal in-between world, between the everyday of cloth that polishes, cleans, covers and toils and the world of memories inhabited by photography, pixels and printed paper. Here I create installations, photographs and prints working with cloth, light and shadow, pencil, paper and thread.

My work is inspired by a love of beauty in battered and worn cloth. The worn imperfection of the used and the hand-me-down white cloth and a bit of blue thread left to clutch onto tightly, become a reminder of home at the southern tip of Africa.

This work examines the worn cloth of the past and present that connects across decades to closely bound, knotted and gnarled migrated bundles, this has become a work of unravelling.

I currently unravel a bundle containing two cloths one white and one blue. Both share colonial and postcolonial histories alike but different. I unpick through a close looking, shifting focus through the process of drawing and stitching the tactile details.

Stitch by stitch through a familiar encounter with cloth, word and paper the possibilities unravel. I tug to pull thread slowly through the resistant, heavy and weighted surfaces. Tearing and puncturing, this resistance work uncovers the labour of different hands.

What thoughts, what lives, what worlds live in such fine stitches and marks that decorate the puckered and dyed surfaces?

How does the cloth tell the tale?

Spatially and materially aware, working at room scale, I transform and craft thread, paper and cloth into textile installations. The light sensitive and opaque qualities of particular materials are integral to the work as are the transitory qualities of cyanotype and indigo dye.

In this work, I translate the unpicked echo’s and shadows revealed through research.

The memories of sunlight washed white cloth mingle with prickly flora and the feel of soil so hot feet burn, this textually complexity I develop into prints.

My work is not about stitching perfection but designed to be evocative and arrest attention. Experimentally led, my stitch-making is a unique embroidery form that fits in-between the stitch that is aiming to be pretty and that which is raw. My stitch aims to be subtle and finely honed, resistant when required, moving off the surface dimensionally to pull the rough edges into focus.

Always striving to connect and cross boundaries between disciplines and dislocation, my decisions are made to evolve and express the stories carried in cloth.


Mona is part-time practice-based PhD candidate at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), Farnham. Working within an art-textile framework, with cloth, space, postcolonial critique and intersectional considerations her practice crosses boundaries between the disciplines of photography, printmaking and textile to create installations and prints. Mona physically works in ‘in-between’ space to reframe research.

Her practice includes facilitating research-led creative response in the arts, museums and education sector. Mona offers a broad art and design skills-base with a resourceful and thorough approach to tasks. This also draws from a substantive career as a design-director and creative arts teacher.


MA Textiles, Post-Graduate School of Crafts and Design (Distinction)

University for the Creative Arts, United Kingdom

Post Graduate Higher Education Diploma (PGCert), Rhodes University, South Africa

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Rhodes University, South Africa

Undergraduate Fine Art Studies, Port Elizabeth Technikon, South Africa