05 FEB — 02 APRIL 2022


Inspired by archival material of women held in Stafford Prison 1877-1916, Criminal Quilts is a touring exhibition and book project by textile artist Ruth Signer. Growing out of a residency at Staffordshire Record Office in 2018, Ruth has explored different relationships to petty crime to create textile artworks full of sensitivity and emotion. Sprawling across both our galleries this work shares Ruth’s compassion for these women with every stitch, generously sewing and screen printing their portraits and stories.

This exhibition has been touring since 2018 with new works added every year. This final instalment brings all the work together for the first time, including new collaborations with Gillian McFarland, Tim Fowler and Alys Power.

Alongside the exhibition is a film, exploring the stories and showing the original archive material that inspired Ruth, and a display book containing case studies of the individual women, history of the criminal justice system and the prison conditions at the time.

Watch Ruth in conversation with our Director Louise Jones-Williams to find out more.


Ruth will be hosting four workshops during the exhibition.

This will include a full day workshop on Saturday 5 March, 11am-4pm – £35, limited spaces; and three 1 hour session on Tuesday 8 March (International Women’s Day) 10-11am, 1-2pm, 3-4pm – free, limited spaces.

More information coming soon. If you would like to enquire or book a place call us on 01633 483321 or email [email protected]


Article from Culture Colony: Opening of Ruth Singer’s Criminal Quilts at Llantarnam Grange

Ruth’s website

This project has been funded by Arts Council England.