Cathy began her interest in Cyanotype printing (Blueprint) on Fabric after seeing work by the quilter Dorothy Stapleton. After attending a course with Ruth Brown of Stone Creek Silks, she extended her technique to include photographic printing with digital negatives. From 2009 - 2016 she worked on a series of large quilted wallhangings based on the Hurley Endurance Photographs, taken in 1914-16 during Sir Ernest Shackleton's near disastrous voyage to the Weddell sea, and his escape from the Antarctic ice after his ship sank.
The Endurance Quilts won Best Large Wallhanging, Best Art Quilt and Runner up Best in Show at the National Quilt Championships at Sandown in 2012. She has undertaken Endurance and Shackleton quilt commissions for the South Georgia Museum in the South Atlantic and the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, and for the second and third 'Yorkshire Ones in Antarctica' exhibitions at the Hull Maritime Museum in 2015 and at the Bridlington Spa in 2016. Her most recent pieces for the South Georgia Heritage Trust and Museum commemorate the centenary of the death of Shackleton in 1921.
In 2014 she completed a series of quilts based on the Terra Nova expedition of Robert Falcon Scott to the South Pole using photographs by Herbert Ponting, which were exhibited at Sandown 2014 and then travelled to America with the World Quilt Competition as part of the UK entry. The third quilt in the series 'Uncle Bill' featuring Dr Edward Wilson, was exhibited at the National Quilt Championships in Sandown in June 2015. She has also recently completed an Edward Wilson themed work for the Wilson Museum and Art Gallery in Cheltenham and in February 2019 she presented a Captain Cook/Exploration piece to the Quilters' Guild Collection which will be on show as part of the Guild's 20 quilts, 20 makers virtual gallery at the Festival of Quilts in the summer of 2021.
She exhibited a new series of quilts and wallhangings for the fourth Yorkshire Ones exhibition at Hull Maritime museum in March and April 2017 on the themes of Three Ships from Hull, Captain Cook, South Georgia, Whaling and Exploration. These quilts were also exhibited at the Ferens Art gallery, Hull as part of the Ferens Open Art Exhibition 2018. The Captain Cook and Exploration and Whaling quilts toured America from August 2019 to February 2020 as part of the UK exhibit in the 23rd World Quilt Competition.
One of her recent projects is based on the human and animal locomotion images of Eadweard Muybridge. The first textile in this series is now in the Kingston on Thames Museum Mybridge Art Collection and is periodically exhibited in the foyer, usually in May for their annual Muybridge week. She was also an invited artist for the 2018 My Muybridge exhibition at the museum. In October 2019 one of her Muybridge pieces was sold at the Knitting and Stitching show in aid of the Quilters Guild Young Quilters fund.
In 2019 she undertook a new project for the sixth Yorkshire Ones exhibition, Threads of Green, at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming, Murton Park with themes including the Green Man, Medieval art and the Lewis Chessmen.
In June 2020 she planned a major exhibition at the National Trust Gallery, Morden Hall Park in collaboration with multimedia artist Vivien Stamford where she will exhibit a wide range of her Cyanotype pieces. This is now to be postponed until summer 2022.
Cathy is based in London and lectures regularly to Quilters, Textile and Embroidery groups as well as Photography associations, U3As and the WI. Her talks include both the history of the Cyanotype/Blueprint technique, which dates back to the mid 19th century, and the inspiration behind the different quilt series. Proceeds from her lectures are donated to the South Georgia Heritage Trust and/or the RNLI. She is available to give both online Zoom and in person talks depending on local circumstances.
Her work has been featured in a number of magazines including Fabrications, Popular Patchwork and The Quilter. The books, 'Cyanotypes on Textiles' and 'Digital Imagery on Fabric', both by Ruth Brown, and Linda Seward's book‚ The Ultimate Guide to Art Quilting‚ also use illustrations of her work. She presented a paper on the 'History of Blueprinting and Cyanotype on Textiles' at the British Quilt Study Group Seminar in Manchester in October 2015 which was published in Quilt Studies in May 2016.
Although she is now retired from the medical profession she is a volunteer in the St George's Medical School Archives and since February 2021 has returned to work as a doctor on the NHS Covid Vaccination team.
Upcoming and Current Exhibitions
One of the Shackleton's Quest Quilts is currently on show as part of the online exhibition Shackleton's Last Quest run by the South Georgia Museum. https://sgmuseum.gs/reflections-of-shackleton/.
The other quilt is illustrated online on the South Georgia Heritage Trust Pages. https://www.jumblebee.co.uk/antarcticasouthgeorgiaauction
'Paradise Merton' Nelson piece to be shown as part of 'Close to Home', Contemporary Quilt London Exhibition, Willesden Library, 95 High Rd, London NW10 2SL, 24th May-7th June 2022. Meet the Makers event 29th May. Open during library opening hours. Closed Monday June 6th
Monday to Friday: 10:30am to 8pm
Saturday: 10:30am to 5pm
Sunday: 12pm to 5pm
Cell Path Blues 3. An early cyanotype photogram piece made in memory of Professor Michael Davies.
On permanent show in the members area of the Royal College of Pathologists. Can be freely accessed on request at reception 9-5 Monday to Friday. RCPath, 6 Alie Street, London, E1 8QT Tel: +44 (0) 20 7451 6700. Nearest tube Aldgate. http://www.rcpath.org/ Currently closed until further notice
Dr Edward Wilson, 150th Birthday exhibition 'The Wilson' Cheltenham Museum and Art Gallery. Dates to be confirmed 2022. Exhibition to include Antarctic Terra Nova pieces featuring Edward Wilson and a lecture about his medical career.
Exploration, Myth and Victory. Exhibition of Quilts, Cyanotypes Textiles and Mixed Media work by Cathy Corbishley Michel and Vivien Stamford with additional artwork by Zoe Michel. NT Stables Courtyard Gallery, Morden Hall Park, Morden Surrey. Open daily 10-5pm Free entry. Postponed until 2022/3 tbc
Virtual Quilt Gallery. British Association of Urological Surgeons