Ptolemy Mann UK, b. 1972


Since 1997 Ptolemy Mann has been running her own studio practice which she established after graduation from Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art. Her unique approach to hand-dyeing and weaving wall-based art works has become the basis for a modern-day Bauhaus philosophy of art making underpinned with intelligent colour theory.


Her time consuming and unique approach to creating these art works has evolved over a twenty-five-year period. Exquisite dynamics of colour move across their fine surface creating a painterly sweep. The term Chromatic Minimalism has been applied to her work and she is heavily influenced by Abstract Expressionism and architecture. Mann is also making paintings on paper and canvas, exploring the relationship between paint and textile. Mann makes large scale, emotional work which expresses a deep sense of craftsmanship and precision through an abstract narrative. She has completed many site-specific art installations and has exhibited worldwide. She lectures regularly throughout the UK and abroad; writes for the magazine Selvedge, curates and has received three grants from the Arts Council of England.


Text by Curator Ann Coxon

“Ptolemy Mann is an artist whose primary medium is pigment-dyed, hand-woven,

stretched cloth. She is interested in the relationships between colours and their affective potential. Through the slow, meticulous process of weaving warp and weft threads on a loom, Mann mimics the spontaneous gesture of paint on paper or canvas. Taking her lead from mid-twentieth century abstraction in which the illusion of depth was rejectedin favour of exploring the surface, Mann’s woven pieces collapse support and surface into one, reminding us of the primarily textile nature of the canvas and the repressed history of the textile within modernism. For her, painting is an expression of the material world. Optical effects and natural phenomena inspire her to explore the possibilities of her chosen materials: dye, thread, paper, paint and time. Through their rapid and/or laborious application she creates a multi-layered meditation on light and colour.”




Arts Council Grant for Significant Color.


Homes and Gardens Best Fabric Designer of the Year.


Arts Council Grant for The Architecture of Cloth, Color and Space.