Pauline Caulfield Textile Works, 1968-2023

Fifteen pieces ranging from fans, chasubles and fabric panels, illuminating Caulfield’s versatile yet distinctive work.

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This display will run alongside Andy Warhol: The Textiles.

Pauline Caulfield (b.1943) is a textile artist whose large-scale screen-printed panels and ecclesiastical works move gracefully between hard-edged abstraction and illusion. Featuring over 15 pieces ranging from fans, chasubles and fabric panels, this display illuminates Caulfield’s versatile yet distinctive work.

A painting student at Chelsea School of Art, Caulfield lost her fear of colour in the textile print room and embraced the move to studying textile print at the Royal College of Art where she could work out her designs and colours with mathematical precision. Although an admirer of trompe l’oeil painting, she adopts a more playful painterly approach to light and shade, mainly eschewing dark shadows in favour of more saturated colour to achieve a 3D effect.

For her RCA Diploma in 1968, she showed a portfolio of 11 hangings and four ecclesiastical robes, an unusual choice for the time, but a reflection of her Catholic upbringing. When young she was inspired by the ornate chasubles worn by priests, which vary in colour according to the liturgical season. She has since won commissions for a number of chasubles, copes and altar frontals printed with strong graphics which use oblique religious imagery.

Her distinctive approach has remained consistent throughout her career, attracting clients who have sought to display her work as curtains, window treatments and wall hangings. More recently she has explored the use of freehand techniques including using combs and rollers and the dabbing of pigment dyes to achieve spectacular textural and visual effects.

This display is located in our multi-functional Fashion Studio. Due to the nature of this room, the space will occasionally close for workshops and events. Please contact a member of our team to ensure that the space is open during your visit.

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