the signal house


c. 2020


Negative Spaces, Positive Times-test.jpg

Negative Spaces, Positive Times


94 x 120

Calico, wholecloth, felt wadding, polyester and nylon (invisible) thread.

Free-motion machine stitched text and motifs, machine quilted.

Sara Impey


sara impey


still standing


minor english goddesses




the muslin moth

non fiction

object lessons

The Editors

James Tye

Erica Gillingham

Verity Laughton

Erica Gillingham

Melissa Chambers


How do we codify experience into memory? And when we have, where does it reside? Art is one answer, and the pieces in December’s issue in their own ways take up this task of building a house for memory. The collective memory threaded into Sara Impey’s quilts; the tangled family history that unfurls in Verity Laughton’s Captivities; the interplay of lineages in Erica Gillingham’s poetry; the vivid aftermaths depicted in James Tye’s photographs; the new histories born from discarded objects in Melissa Chambers’ Object lessons – all these pieces find human beings wrestling with experience, seeking out the point at which that experience can be transfigured into something that can be shared.

In the first issue of The Signal House Edition we wrote that we wanted the journal to be a heddle on the world’s loom, where stories small and large can change, and change, and keep changing. By any measure, 2020 has been a strange year, and it’s still got a way to run. We’re still finding its softest parts, the points where it might stretch into something we can hold at enough distance to get to know.

Thank you for joining us here over the past seven months. We look forward to meeting you here again in a new year.

- The Editors

SARA IMPEY is our featured artist this month, and is also interviewed by our poetry editor Erica Gillingham. Sara is an Essex based textile artist specialising in machine-stitched lettering. With a background in quilt making, she uses the textile surface to comment on social and political issues, sometimes with a dash of humour. Website. Instagram.


(Image credits: artwork photographed by Douglas Atfield)