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Exploring Nature

The Grange at Bookham, founded in 1927, is a charity dedicated to supporting adults with learning disabilities, empowering them to lead independent lives. Originally known as the ‘School of Stitchery and Lace,’ they gained renown for their exceptional needlework craftsmanship. Their journey included royal commissions, such as creating exquisite nightgowns for Queen Mary and enabling people with disabilities to pursue careers in establishments such as Liberty’s and Harvey Nichols. Today, The Grange offers a comprehensive range of services, including residential care, supported living, and skills training.

‘Exploring Nature,’ this first exhibition showcases the remarkable outcomes of their exploration in fabrics, designs, and stitch patterns. Within their creative arts division, The Grange established an embroidery enterprise, where people with disabilities learn to use computerized embroidery machines to produce commercial and artistic pieces. Their exceptional skill and creativity has gained recognition. One of the individuals art works is now in the renowned Diana Springall Collection.

Collaborating with the acclaimed mixed media textile artist Karen Nicol, and drawing inspiration from the picturesque surroundings of The Grange and The Sunbury Gallery ‘The Grange’ merged nature and embroidery to produce this imaginative and inspired body of work.


They observed leaves, created digital designs, and meticulously tested them on embroidery machines before applying them to fabrics. Each embroidered leaf represents the participants’ journey towards this remarkable outcome.

The exhibition aims to promote The Grange’s embroidery enterprise, provide further opportunities for the people they support, and keep their heritage alive.

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