Stitch-drawing as autoethnographic practice for health and wellbeing: A personal case study

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


My creative, practice-based research has established a method of drawing with thread into a duster, a yellow cloth used for domestic chores, popular the UK, to phenomenologically embody, and autoethnographically ‘story,’ my lived experience (Marr, 2019, 2021). I selected the duster, because of its cultural and semiotic associations (Kirkham, 1996) as a commonplace object that I tie to my gendered experience of domesticity. It has become my personal canvas and the catalyst through which, like scholars such as Chang et all (2011), I have begun to understand and express how I integrate personal practices for health and wellbeing with academic work (Moriarty, Marr et al, 2020).

Underpinned by the theory of drawing as a sensory extension of the world I inhabit (Rosand, 2002), I combine the feminine legacy of stitch and cloth-work (Barber, 1995, Parker, 1984, Gordon, 2011) with the phenomenon of ‘slow stitch’ (Wellesley-Smith, 2015) to create stitch drawn marks that respond to the sensory nature of the cloth and its connotations. This method of stitch-drawing produces a feeling of calm, known as the ‘relaxation response’ (Benson, 2007), which supports my positive health and well-being. For the purposes of this chapter, I will create a series of stitch-drawings over a period of six weeks during a busy academic period, to be presented as a case study that documents and examines this practice. This stitch-drawn, object inspired autoethnographic practice will uniquely document the role of drawn stitch in my health and wellbeing.

Barber, Elizabeth. (1995). Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years. Norton.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarks, Signs and Traces
Subtitle of host publicationManual drawing in health and wellbeing
EditorsPhillipa Lyon, Curie Scott
PublisherBerg - Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Not yet published


  • Drawing
  • Wellbeing and resilience
  • Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Stitch-drawing as autoethnographic practice for health and wellbeing: A personal case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this