embroidery

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Art

Division of Birds: A Group Show at Paradigm Gallery Celebrates Feathered Life

August 5, 2022

Colossal

Felicia Chiao. All images © the artists, shared with permission

The Division of Birds, housed inside Chicago’s Field Museum, boasts one of the largest scientific avian collections in the country, representing about 90% of the world’s genera and species and containing more than 480,000 specimens, 21,000 egg sets, and approximately 200 nests. A group show opening this month at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia references this unparalleled archive in a celebration of feathered life.

Curated by Colossal’s founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Division of Birds is comprised of dozens of works in a range of styles and mediums. The show includes avian creatures both real and imagined and a vast array of aesthetics, from a trio of paper sculptures by Roberto Benavidez and Felicia Chiao’s emotionally charged illustrations to Lola Dupré’s collaged roosters and a three-dimensional nest embroidered by Megan Zaniewski.

Division of Birds runs from August 26 to September 18.

 

Lola Dupré

Megan Zaniewski

Chris Maynard

Mike Stilkey

Megan Zaniewski

 

 



Art Science

Bees Wrap Ava Roth’s Intricately Beaded and Embroidered Motifs in Golden Honeycomb

July 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Beaded Circle,” encaustic, Japanese paper, glass beads, thread, natural honeycomb, local Ontario maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches. All images © Ava Roth, shared with permission

Seasons and the natural rhythms of bees determine much of Ava Roth’s practice, which hinges on collaborating with the fuzzy pollinators. The Ontario-based artist (previously) stitches elaborate embroideries with beads and intricate thread-based motifs that, once her contribution is complete, she turns over to her insect counterparts. The critters then finish the mixed-media pieces by embedding them in golden, hexagonal honeycomb.

Because the bees Roth works with only produce the waxy substance during the heat of the summer, the time available for inter-species cooperation is limited. In a note to Colossal, the artist describes recent shifts in her practice that more deeply embody the shared process:

The collaged portion of this season’s pieces, which are made largely of encaustic and stitch work, are designed to match the intricacy of the comb in a fair exchange of labour. I had in mind “a stitch for every cell.” I have also introduced more sophisticated shapes, and multiple shapes, into the comb, and the results have been very exciting.

In addition to the pieces shown here, Roth has also been developing a collection of larger encaustic paintings on photographs that she works on when her collaborators are dormant. “Using the beeswax in these different ways feels very holistic,” she says, “and having the intimate connection to the bees in the summer makes working with wax as a material during the winter months deeply satisfying.”

Explore an archive of the artist’s organically formed works on her site and Instagram.

 

“Hardwood Lake with Flower Embroidery,” encaustic, oil stick, photography on bamboo paper, embroidery floss, natural honeycomb, in custom local Ontario maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches

“Honeycomb Quilt,” encaustic, birch bark, paper, gold leaf, embroidery floss, glass beads, and natural honeycomb, in custom local Ontario maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches

Detail of “Honeycomb Quilt,” encaustic, birch bark, paper, gold leaf, embroidery floss, glass beads and natural honeycomb, in custom local Ontario maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches

“Honeybee Collaboration, Lunaria Leaves,” beeswax, Hemlock cones, porcupine quills, Lunaria leaves, photography, oil stick, embroidery floss and glass beads on seeded paper with honeycomb, in custom maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches

 

 



Craft

Skies Peek Through Foliage in French Knots in Embroideries that Peer Up From the Forest Floor

June 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Sew Beautiful, shared with permission

Look up! The vibrant embroideries of the U.K.-based artist known as Sew Beautiful capture the awe-inspiring breadth of the outdoors within a tiny wooden hoop. Layering colorful French knots and long, straight threads in neutral tones, the artist transforms thin organza bases into fiber renditions of forests dense with autumn leaves or aerial shots capturing wide swaths of landscape. The hand-stitched pieces are vivid and tinged with whimsy, and Sew Beautiful has a few works currently available on Etsy. Follow shop updates and new embroideries on Instagram. (via So Super Awesome)

 

 

 



Craft Food

Fibrous Kale, Broccoli, and Beans Grow From Incredibly Realistic Three-Dimensional Embroideries

June 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Konekono Kitsune, shared with permission

A glimpse into Konekono Kitsune’s workspace in Tokyo likely resembles a farmer’s market stand more than a fiber studio. Using countless layers of thread and the occasional felt base, the artist stitches curly kale, collard greens, and other fare that bear a striking likeness to their real-life counterparts: dense tufts in green form broccoli florets, a broad bean pod splits open to reveal a soft downy inside, and tight rows line the undulating surface of a sweet potato.

In a note to Colossal, Konekono Kitsune shares that their grandmother frequently embroidered, although they only began working in the medium a few years ago. “I’m not a farmer, and I’m not particularly good at cooking. I happened to embroider vegetables and got convinced. Embroidery threads are great for expressing vegetable fibers,” they say.

For more of the artist’s produce-based works, visit Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Vivid Compositions in Thread Enliven Hollow Spaces in Diana Yevtukh’s Striking Embroideries

June 3, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Why did they do this to us” (2022). All images © Diane Yevtukh, shared with permission

Ukrainian artist Diana Yevtukh draws inspiration from her surroundings by carefully situating cornucopian floral arrangements made of thread in the hollows of trees. Based in Lviv, her work has assumed more urgency since the invasion of her home country by Russian forces earlier this year, and pieces like “Why did they do that to us” draw on her background in photography and design to spread the crucial message that Ukraine remains under threat.

The artist’s meticulous needlework pieces feature a medley of vibrant flowers like poppies, daisies, and sunflowers, which nestle into the surfaces and appear to effervesce from within. Her works are often juxtaposed with rough or decaying surfaces like old stone walls or rusting metal to “heal” the damage, emphasizing the possibility for beauty and strength in unexpected places.

You can find more of Yevtukh’s work on Instagram.

 

“And the spring will come, and night will be gone”

“Life is breaking out of the mysterious hideaways”

“Stitch by stitch, cracked and forgotten wall blossoms with new life”

“No cage can hold the radiance of hope”

 

 



Art Craft

Elaborately Embellished Heart Sculptures by Ema Shin Reflect On the Anonymous Legacies of Women

May 5, 2022

Kate Mothes

Image © Matthew Stanton. All images courtesy of the artist and shared with permission

Like many Korean families, artist Ema Shin’s relatives maintain a genealogy book called a jokbo, which illustrates their family tree. Shin’s ancestral record spans 32 generations, yet only male members of the family are represented. Born and raised in Japan, and currently based in Melbourne, Australia, the artist describes in a recent statement that “in the society that I was born and raised in, there was a prejudice between men and women, and their roles were predetermined. I always felt uncomfortable with this inequality.” In her series Hearts of Absent Women, she celebrates and recognizes women whose achievements remain obscured by history.

Heart-shaped forms made from fabric are elaborately embellished with colorful threads and beads in an homage to the organ’s connection with emotion and vitality. They are nearly life-size, and the range of woven and stitched textures are captivatingly tactile. Both anatomical and fanciful, the arteries, veins, and ventricles become distinctive expressions in needlework that reflect strength, resilience, and individuality. Since becoming a mother herself, Shin has been particularly interested in honoring women’s lives and bodies, recognizing the anonymous contributions of those in her family and around the world and acknowledging their stories for the future.

Some of Shin’s work can be seen at the Victoria Craft Awards 2021 exhibition through May 21. She has limited-edition prints from the series for sale on her website, and you can also follow her on Instagram.

 

Image © Ema Shin

Image © Matthew Stanton

Image © Ema Shin

Image © Ema Shin

Image © Matthew Stanton

Image © SoulTradr

Image © Matthew Stanton

Image © Oleksandr Pogorily