The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Tag: embroidery

Creating under the name “ffembroidery,” Patricia Larocque’s embroidered characters are packed with anxiety and pop cultural influences. The artist has used multiple techniques to craft these faces, which can take up to 25 hours to craft. She often shares process photos and other insights on her Instagram page.
The lifesized crocheted and knitted figures made by Finland artist Liisa Hietanen are based off of people in her hometown. The artist gets to know them during the process of creating their likeness. When the artist is done with one of her "Villager" sculptures, she takes it to the public and displays them in Hämeenkyrö.
Maryam Ashkanian’s stirring “Sleep” series offers embroidered figures on pillows, with threads creating a sculptural landscape on each canvas. The works carry both an intimacy and are part of a broader practice that implements textiles and painting into unexpected forms. The fiber artist is currently based in Iran, where she operates her studio.
Sophia Narrett’s painterly approach to embroidery results in elaborate, startling scenes. Her themes traverse escapism, psychology, and sexuality. Each section of the work brings its own surprising sharpness, with a certain visceral quality resulting from the material.
Yoon Ji Seon's embroidered portraits blend fiber and photography. Much of work consists of self-portraits, with varying degrees of emotions, abstraction, and detail. Her "Rag Face" series goes back to 2006, when she started experimenting with these mixed-media pieces.
The embroidered monsters of Tracy Widdess add an unexpected texture to the horror genre. The Vancouver artist has called her practice "brutal knitting." And with her talents in crafting textile fright, she embodies that label with both wearable and standalone pieces.
In the series “Ça va aller,” photographer Joana Choumali adds embroidery to images captured of her African hometown, Abidjan, in the days after the March 2016 Grand-Bassam terrorist attack that took 19 lives and injured 33. She began embroidering as a way to cope, with the series evolving from this approach. The artist observed a melancholic population following the event.
Ulla-Stina Wikander, an artist living in Stockholm, creates cross-stitched sculptures using domestic and everyday objects as her base. Wikander isn’t dissuaded by the complex edges and surfaces of machinery and furniture: Each piece becomes a surreal, yet familiar art object when embroidered by the artist. Depending on the project, time spent on each work can vary wildly.
Louise Riley, an artist based in the London, began sewing because frankly, she was “too fast at painting.” She found that embroidery, in particular, gave her a chance to really immerse herself and understand what she was creating. And then one day, she tried a new experiment, using a mattress as her canvas.
Diane Meyer emulates pixels and digital imaging with cross-stitched embroidery, sewn into her photos. Whether it’s a series of travel captures or her own, personal family snaps, Meyer explores both intersecting eras of photography and the concept of memory itself. The result is something that both distorts and celebrates the longevity of these experiences.
"I love bodies," says artist Sally Hewett. "It is not the conventionally beautiful bodies that take my eye, it is bodies which show their history, that have been altered by their experience." The UK based sculptor centers her works on the ugliness and imperfections of our bodies, and uses the prettiness of embroidery to offset how we view them. Describing her sculptures as a divide between craft and art, Hewett's sculptures play around with our perceptions of ourselves and what needs to be "fixed".
We've covered many fantastically strange and unusual embroidered works on our blog over the years, but sporting equipment wins as the most unconventional choice. Cape Town, South Africa based VJ-photographer-textile artist Danielle Clough (who goes by "Fiance Knowles" on instagram) breathes new life into vintage wooden tennis rackets with her decorative embroideries. Her beautifully clever series titled "What a Racket" has nothing to do with tennis however ("Does this count as being interested in sport?" Clough jokes at her website.) Instead, she describes her work as a celebration of color, featuring florals like roses, tulips, and succulents like aloe, sewn onto classic Badminton rackets.
Earlier this month, we shared with you the intriguing embroidered installations by Beijing based artist Gao Rong, uncanny and realistic replicas of her childhood home in inner Mongolia. Using the Chinese embroidery she learned growing up as her primary technique, Rong was able to create stunning copies of artifacts from her memories for that series. Her new series applies the same handicraft but to a much more minimal, even painstaking degree. Aptly titled "The Simple Line", Rong goes in the opposite direction of her complicated and detailed spaces and embraces simplicity and abstraction.
Chinese artist Gao Rong uses the handicraft she was taught as a child to create unbelievably realistic replicas of her gradparents' home and parts of their surrounding neighborhood in inner Mongolia. Rong doesn't consider herself an embroiderer, but rather a sculptor who uses embroidery. She likens her installations to sculpture, made from materials like cloth, cotton and sponge supported by metal frames to recreate things that would otherwise go unnoticed- thousands of tiny stitches are layered onto the fabric to create the effect of rust on pipes and peeling wallpaper.
New York based Japanese artist Kumi Yamashita, featured here, creates unique pieces of art using everyday objects and materials like paper and plastic. Among her most notable and surprising works are her Light-shadow series, where materials are arranged in relation to a single light source to reveal the true subject in the shadows. Opening on September 11th, Yamashita will exhibit a variety of new works in a solo exhibition at Art Front Gallery in Tokyo. In addition to her popular shadow art, she will present a series inspired by origami, the art of folding.
Chilean artist Jose Romussi adds embroidery to paper photographs to extracts a third dimension, and thus a nascent personality, out of an otherwise flat image. By doing so, Romussi opens space for alternative interpretations and methods of viewing a staged image. The artist refers to his work as an "intervention," and in many ways, his intentions are similar to other contemporary artists who use yarn as a method of interrupting the norm. Like "Yarn Bombing," which is often performed as a softer act of graffiti in public places, Romussi's compositions attempt to re-define notions of beauty while simultaneously drawing attention to social issues, such as the re-appropriation of African patterns and other non-Western traditions in high fashion.
Burbank, California based artist Michelle Kingdom creates fantastically strange embroideries on linen that look like paintings. Some have even dubbed them as "stitched paintings." For Kingdom, they are "narrative embroideries" that weave stories made out of thread. Embroidery is oftentimes discarded as craft, but that is part of its appeal to the artist, who uses it in an unexpected way to express her innermost thoughts and escape to her imaginary world.
Rifle through French artist Julie Sarloutte's art supplies and you might find not tubes of oil paint, but dozens of thread bundles. At first glance, her works appear to be paint on canvas, the unmistakable palette knife angling and impasto streaks making up portraits and muted scenes of political violence. But looking closer, you might see the pop of thread coming through, as all pieces are meticulously hand-embroidered by Sarloutte, who also dabbles in mosaic and yes, paint.

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