Mary Spyrou has a BA(Hons) in Textile Design from Trent Polytechnic and an MA in Textile Design from The Royal College of Art.
Specialising in the area of Culturally Diverse Textile Traditions, which she has researched extensively, such as felt making; resist dye techniques (tie-dye/shibori and batik); applique, embroidery, silk painting, natural dyeing, and mordants, to name but a few, exploring these to develop contemporary approaches and new works both in my personal work and teaching practice.
She has been teaching since 1984, including Artist in Residencies in Schools, Youth and Community groups, both in London and other UK regions.
Also teaching in Further Education and Higher Education Institutes, including the London College of Fashion, Birkbeck University, Goldsmiths University, Chelsea School of Art, Central St Martins and Middlesex University.
Not content to only teach she also has some of her textile works exhibited in a variety of spaces, including The Art Workers Guild, the Barbican Arts Centre, RIBA, Cartwright Hall and Gawthorpe Hall, to name but a few.
A number of her works are in Public Collections, including the Embroiderers Guild, The Leicestershire Picture Collection for Schools and Colleges and The Wigan Schools Loan Collection, as well as private collections.
She co-authored ‘Textile Arts Multicultural Traditions’ (A&C Blacks) publishers; wrote ‘More Tales from The Magic Carpet’ National Theatre Activity Pack; Design Council Education paper ‘ The Big Paper’ How To Make Felt….’ , and has had her work featured in the Crafts Magazine and ‘Designer Stitched Textiles’ (Batsford Publication).
She has also researched and curated an exhibition of Cypriot Textiles for the Islington Museum, and co-curated ‘Threads of Life’ at Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow which featured textiles from all over the world, also running workshops and giving gallery talks in museums on a variety of subjects, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, British Museum, Museum of Mankind, Geffrye Museum, MODA, Aston Hall and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
She was commissioned to make felt hats for the movie ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ directed by Ridley Scott and ‘Fanny Lye’ directed by Thomas Clay, and has also appeared in a BBC2 documentary ‘Embroidery in Women's Lives’ and for Channel 4 in ‘Tastes of Britain’ (Cypriot Cooking)