Finally, I’ve made it to this year’s work on the blog. Thanks for your patience.
As I completed the Hallowed Ground series, arguably the most ‘multi media’ of my projects to date, I craved a palette cleanser of clean, plain, surface embroidery.
I have had a fascinated love for all sharks since I was a child (I wanted to be a marine biologist for a bit), and the clean elegant curves and beautiful colours of the Blue shark was the perfect subject.
A meditation in single strand split stitch.
I like to remind myself that I can ‘just sew’ from time to time.
After I had completed the body I began the same technique of filling the disembodied fin.
It’s eye is an opalite bead.
Stage one complete. Now for her divinity.
If you look really closely at my brick stitch you’ll notice I haven’t done this for a while.
If you know, you know.
The pain, the anguish.
And this was my workstation for this project.
Now I’m going to share a blog-only exclusive:
The main reason for padding the fin was that my original intention was to include this glass bead fringe. However I decided in the end that it was shouting rather than telling, and I changed my mind. Sometimes things don’t go to plan and it’s good to interrogate your ideas at all stages.
I wanted to be freer with my practice this year, make more work organically with subjects that I was drawn to, not over thinking everything. I also wanted to explore making portraits again, like I was in my 2015 Ugly Gods works, because of the joy of surface embroidery really.
After making so many textured and multi-technique pieces, the process of just working in one stitch – split stitch with one strand of DMC – was very calming and rewarding. I wanted to see how ‘special’ I could make it feel, without all the bells and whistles of multiple surfaces, materials and techniques.
There’s also an intention to continue to refine my style as an artist, and so my subject is again the precious nature of threatened animals and the symbols of the divine. But again, simplicity. Just the silver passing halo achieves this.
Finally, I’m interested in composition this year, and decided to add the inverted triangle (water) described with what I call ‘distress lines’. Simple lines of iridescent filament that suggest behaviour displayed by sharks in distress.
The disembodied fin speaks for itself.