Lesley Millar - Profile


Lesley Millar trained as a weaver and ran her own successful studio for almost 30 years before turning her attention to the promotion of contemporary textile practice. Her specialist research is located in the UK and Japan and she has spent some 20 years building up professional and personal links between textile makers in both countries. More recently she has also formed creative links with Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. She is an exhibition curator focusing on textiles in broadly three categories:

  •  Contemporary textiles as intervention in the built environment
  • Contemporary textiles that have emerged from a strong traditional practice
  • Contemporary textiles that reflect a particular culture

Exhibitions have included 7 major international touring exhibitions: ‘Revelation’ (1996-98), ‘Textural Space’ (2001), ‘Through the Surface’ (2003-05),’21:21 – the textile vision of Reiko Sudo and NUNO’ (2005-7), ‘Cloth & Culture NOW’ (2008), ‘Cultex (2009-11), ‘Lost in Lace’ (2011-12.) and Cloth & Memory {2} (2013). She was the Principal Investigator on the EU project ‘Transparent Boundaries’ (2012-14) with partners in Denmark, Greece and Italy. In 2006-07 she undertook an AHRC funded research project investigating approaches to contemporary textiles through collaborative research between Museums, HEI’s and Practitioners.

Current projects in development include:

  • the exhibition 'Kawaii: crafting the Japanese culture of cute' (2015-16),
  • an international tapestry exhibition developed in collaboration with the National Centre for Craft and Design (2016-17)
  • Principal Investigator: Living Edge/Leaving Edge. EU project connecting disenfranchised communities through creative practice. (Creative Europe) (2016-19)

She is Professor of Textile Culture and Director of the International Textile Research Centre at the University for the Creative Arts. In 2008 she received the Japan Society Award acknowledging her contribution to Anglo-Japanese relationships and in 2011 was appointed MBE for her contribution to Higher Education.


Lesley Millar at Zokei.jpg
LM in Portugal profile.jpg
LM with KK & Japanese artists C&M2 copy.jpg