Richard McVetis Richard McVetis

Bio + Statement


McVetis' practice centres around drawing and process, specifically hand embroidery. He explores themes of geology, cosmology, the language of time, permanence, and impermanence.

Spanning the macro and micro, he records time and space through multiple dots, lines, and crosses, exploring the subtle differences that emerge through ritualistic and habitual making. The inscribed stitches mark the hand’s rhythms, a delicate performance of obsessive intricacy, refinement, and gesture. They record human presence, time and decay, each stitch or line acting as a marker for lived time, an embodiment of thought and patience. These physical, tactile, and repetitive creation modes allow him to see and think, to occupy a space.

Recent works examine the connection between material and place through personal histories.
Read the story 'Labour of Love'.

“In the use of repeating patterns that record and reveal the process of making, there is an affinity, too, with composer Steve Reich. As McVetis puts it, “Even though I am doing the same stitch over and over again […] there’s a rhythm, a flow that changes across each cube.” It is an approach that echoes Reich’s phase-shifting technique where, as a repeated phrase is perceptibly altered over time, the compositional process is rendered discernible in the music itself”

Annie Warburton

"McVetis' research explores ideas of repetition and expressions of sameness and difference within repetition. His vision communicates an enquiry into this process and lends the work a quiet, focused, contemplative feeling”.

Dr Emma Neuberg


Richard McVetis studied at Manchester School of Art before studying at the Royal College of Art, where he now teaches. McVetis has been shortlisted for several distinguished prizes, including the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, UK, 2023; the Jerwood Drawing Prize, UK, 2011 and 2017, and the international Loewe Craft Prize, 2018. In addition, McVetis has shown work nationally and internationally at several exhibitions, including Threads at Arnolfini, UK, 2023; The British Textile Biennial, UK, 2021; RENEW at Kettles Yard, UK, 2019; Loewe Craft Prize, Design Museum, London, UK, 2018; ‘Form + Motion’ – a major exhibition with the British Council, South Korea, 2017. In 2022 his solo show was at the Craft Study Centre, Farnham.

This website uses cookies to ensure the best experience possible.