Stitch

Following my ‘Stitch’ workshop I feel like I’ve discovered this huge untapped resource and kicking myself that I haven’t opened my eyes to it sooner.  The stitch workshop was great, but mostly involved using the sewing machines to see what patterns and the different stitches we could get out of them.  I haven’t used a sewing machine in probably about ten years so it was exciting being able to use one again.

The idea of layering and texture obviously shouts textiles but I hadn’t even considered it as an option until this workshop… (stupid Charl).  What was essentially me just messing around on a sewing machine and grinning for three hours at how good at sewing I am (NB. no good at all) has led me to a discovery – EMBROIDERY.  Oh my god how amazing I don’t understand why I never looked at this before?  What have I been doing?  Since the stitch workshop I’ve been embroidering things and bits of fabric and whatever I can get my hands on, but obviously I’m no seamstress so it’s slow and painful.  Like, reeeeeally slow and painful.  This is a downside because it’s something I’d really like to explore and particularly use during this Field module, but I wish I’d picked it up sooner.

There’s an abundance of work on Pinterest and things to look at that I’ve been overwhelmed with ideas and how I could go forward with my concepts.  The idea of creating strong layers and textures is key, but I don’t want to make a quilt, ya know?  I want there to be subtlety but definitive edges and shapes, with strong textures against the landscape.  I’m not sure of how best to display that.

I’ve created a new board on my Pinterest called ‘Stitch’ and I’ve been gathering research here.  I’ve found work by Ann Teresa Barboza and it’s blowing my mind.  I don’t know what it is about her embroidery but it’s just incredible.  It feels really raw and volatile which is something that doesn’t often go hand in hand with embroidery.  Her work is incredible, there’s definitely aspects of it that I think would work really well with what I’m trying to achieve.  I particularly like the places where the scene within the embroidery ring is spilling out onto the floor or onto long pieces of fabric, almost demonstrating that it cannot be contained or harnessed which is something I think really embodies what a natural landscape is.

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Jesus I can’t even express how magical I think these are.  The first image of the waves crashing up and over the rocks and out of the frame entirely has something incredible to it, and I just can’t explain what it is?  It’s like what I was saying about almost hearing that noise of the waves and seeing the spray and foam and water all moving together.  I think it must be the classic notions of what embroidery is matched with the power of the sea and how it’s not contained or harnessed?  This is something I’d really like to emulate somehow.

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