12 Tweets of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas‘ is one of the most popular English Christmas carols, first published in the eighteenth century . Its lyrics describe the extravagant gifts the singer is presented with by their ‘true love’; each has religious significance.

The Twelve Days begin with Christmas Day (25th December) and finish on the eve of Epiphany on 5th January.

To celebrate, we are using the lyrics to this carol to highlight the richness of our collections. Without giving too much away, ‘a partridge’ has become A. Partridge – you’ll see what we mean!

We will line up tweets to be sent each day of the Twelve Days, with an image of a library resource reflecting the gifts given on that specific day.

Asian Film Online

Asian Film Online

The library has taken out a subscription to Asian Film Online collections I and II, which provides Goldsmiths students and staff access to a vast collection of feature films, documentaries and short films from across the entire Asian continent.

Many of these films are not available on DVD and will not be in the library already. Most films will not, in fact, have been previously distributed outside of their native country.

Asian Film Online is particularly strong for films from China, India, Iran, South Korea and South East Asia.

Award winning and internationally known directors whose films are in the collection include Darius Mehrjui (Iran), Xie Fei (China) and Adoor Gopalakrishnan (India).

Films can be accessed via the e-resources A-Z list on the library website – this link will take you to the Asian Film Online platform.

Alternatively, each film has been added to the catalogue, with links that will take you directly to the film for streaming.

To see all the films we have access to, search for Asian Film Online on the library catalogue. During other catalogue searches, e.g. Iran film, look for results that show ‘video file – recordings for streaming’ in the location field. These indicate films that can be streamed (many of which will be from Asian Film Online).

You can create playlists of films, make clips within films, share films by URL, access and search within transcripts – Asian Film Online has a very intuitive platform that allows you to use the films however you want.

To access films, you will need to create an account. When you arrive at the Asian Film Online platform, click on Sign In and create an account, which must include your Goldsmiths email address (you cannot register, or access films without this). If you have previously used Alexander Street Press streaming collections, e.g. Ethnographic Video Online, please use the same account.

If you have any issues using Asian Film Online or any streaming collections we have access to, email the Audiovisual Librarian, Kevin Wilson (

Christine Risley: Works and Research

Constance Howard Gallery
Deptford Town Hall Basement
24th November 2015 – 23rd December 2015
Tuesday – Thursday
11am – 5pm

Late opening and Christmas drinks: 8th December 2015

Event info

Christine Risley was a key member of Constance Howard’s remarkable and innovative textiles department at Goldsmiths College, and an influential figure in the craft of textile art in her own right. It is with great honour that the Textile Collection is able to host Christine Risley: Works & Research and honour the memory of an integral member of staff in the development of textiles as a craft at Goldsmiths.


Curated in collaboration with former colleagues and personal friends of Christine. Using original artworks and materials from the Textile Collection, Christine Risley: Works and Research presents an exclusive look at the life, works and influences of the late textile artist.

Christine was introduced to textiles at an early age by her Mother and Grandmother, who taught her to sew and knit. After winning a scholarship to Prendergast School, Lewisham, she was expected to go to University. However, she instead decided to go to Art School and enrolled on the intermediate Exam in Art and Craft at Goldsmiths in 1944. Christine specialized in painting though found it uninspiring as the style taught at the time favoured photographic representation over personal interpretation of subject matter. It wasn’t until she saw an exhibition of fabric collages by Constance Howard’s education students that she re-connected with her early interest in textiles, immediately identifying with this way of working that allowed for freedom in choice of imagery, colours and design.

After completing her Art Teacher’s diploma at Goldsmiths in 1949, Christine taught at Central Saint Martins. During this time she continued to produce her own work, exhibiting and selling through the ‘Pictures for Schools’ scheme, the Society of Designer Craftsmen and various galleries in the UK and abroad. ‘A Bird in a Cage’ (1951) is an example of her work from this period, which was pictorial, whilst often fantastical. Christine also undertook Design work for a range of companies including Sandersons, House and Garden Magazine, Triplex Glass and Jaeger. She often favoured pen and ink drawing. Recurring motifs can be identified from her sketches and drawings, such as the bird, which appear in her Design work for Yardley and the Palladio wall paper, as well as in her fabric collages.


Drawn to the speed and accuracy of Machine Embroidery, Christine studied under Dorothy Benson at the Singer Work Room in 1952.  She then went on to Bromley College to learn how to use the Cornelly and Irish Machines. Having worked part time at Goldsmiths since 1959, Christine accepted a full time position as head of Machine Embroidery under Constance Howard in 1967. She relished the opportunity to encourage individuality and creativity through tutorials and seminars, a teaching approach remarkably different from her own early experiences. From this time Christine specialized in Machine Embroidery, having published Machine Embroidery (1961) and Creative Embroidery (1969). She became heavily involved in the research for her third book Machine Embroidery: A Complete Guide (1973) having been awarded a grant to research Machine Embroidery in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Christine enjoyed gathering together material and information, amassing a diverse collection of examples of machine embroidery, a selection of which are on display. The cabinets of objects and ephemera assembled from shelf displays in her house are also testament to her love of collecting. This tendency to gather, bring together and assemble is reflected in the fragmentary nature of her woks made in the 1980s, which came to characterize her style. She would combine influences from experiences and events captured through photography and drawing, as well as textiles she collected, and create scraps of Machine Embroidery which would later be pieced and stitched together. Much of this work was started in her sabbatical year from Goldsmiths in 1981. Around this time Christine began to experiment with abstract linear designs of Machine Embroidery, often working on clear plastic and layering or weaving together sections. This work is less known but an interesting insight into Christine’s continued commitment to pushing the possibilities provided by machine embroidery.

From starting out as a student at Goldsmiths, Christine Risley went on to leave a significant influence upon Goldsmiths and Textile Art more broadly, establishing the Machine Embroidery subject in the 1960s and later becoming the head of Textiles, before retiring in 1990.


Please join the gallery on Tuesday 8th December for a late private viewing of Christine Risley: Works and Research with Christmas drinks. Please contact the Textile Collection at, call 020 7717 2210 or visit for more information on Christine Risley: Works and Research. Opening times are Tuesday – Thursday, 11 – 5.00 pm.