Seed Stitch

I *recently* (ok, ok, it was way back in March) had the opportunity to indulge my love of textile art. When I saw the open call for Seed Stitch Inaugural Contemporary Textile Exhibition I could feel that old tug to submit something, but having no finished work with me and not even a WIP, I decided to just go to the show. The theme was one dear to my heart: the re-emergence of textiles and its transformation from a domestic craft into a genre of fine art. Soraya Abidin curated the exhibit, which included artists from around Sydney. From this group, the Seed Stitch Collective was formed; they’ll go on to make this, hopefully, an annual exhibit.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (14 of 18)Gunung Sari by Soraya Abidin

Soraya‘s works are “born of a love for the primitive practices within [her] Malay cultural heritage,” and is informed by spiritual and ceremonial practices, Islamic arts, and crafts of the Orang Asli (the indigenous people of Malaysia).

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (15 of 18)She embroiders in natural raffia and embellishes with gold leaf. In her artist statement, she says her “artworks are in response to the absence of nature in the digital world.”

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (7 of 8)Avenger by Soraya Abidin
Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (6 of 8)It Rained All Summer by Carole Douglas

Carole Douglas works with found objects, natural dyes, reused cloth. In her artist statement, she states,  “…I am inspired by old textiles and the honouring of lineage that is imbued in each piece,” the hand of the maker and the stains left through use.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (10 of 18)Wandering through the exhibit, I found myself drawn to the lines of hand-stitching central to several pieces. I am always in awe when I see the detail, the careful spacing, and the uniform stitches. It makes me want to grab a piece of cloth and get lost in the meditation of needle pulling thread.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (4 of 18) Symphony by Jessica B Watson

Jessica B. Watson creates her stitched collages by painting onto translucent silk, then cutting out the shapes and stitching them onto a larger piece of linen or hemp. Her piece, “Symphony” came about from a summer’s evening wade at the beach, and finding herself standing in the midst of a school of brightly coloured fish.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (3 of 18)You can see how her hand-stitching contributes to the overall movement of her design.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (5 of 18)Pelican Party by Jerome Speekman

And of course I loved this panel of stitched pelicans! Jerome Speekman got into his ex’s embroidery basket one day and discovered he was really good at this! Since then, he’s been creating beautiful “needle paintings” like this one.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (6 of 18)Just amazing! I wish I had such patience.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (12 of 18)Topology of Memory by Emma Peters

Emma Peters works with raw and local materials and natural dyes, and incorporates new technologies such as digital printing into her pieces that draw on the tradition of heirloom quilting to tell stories and hold memory.

Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (13 of 18)Detail from Topology of Memory series.

 Seed Stitch textile art exhibit (3 of 8)Exhale by Suzanne Davey

This piece by Suzanne Davey makes me feel like I could spread my wings and fly.  “Exhale” is created using fabric, steel, resin and thread, and explores qualities of light and movement in textiles.

The Seed Stitch Collective will be having another exhibit in November at Barometer Gallery in Paddington. I’ll be there for sure!

On My Workspace

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I’ve been crocheting at a snail’s pace lately.  I finally finished this piece last night.  It’s something a little different from my typical garlands, in that I more or less sewed on the mother of pearl beads.

may 24 2013
It looks pretty with this little bird painting from my Handmade Joy sender Dana Barbieri.

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I’m currently working on a very fresh and summery bunting in yellow and grey.  I haven’t decided how long to make it.  What do you think is a good length for a bunting?

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This bowl holds the the cause of the first time crochet brought me close to tears.  I got this idea that I wanted to make coasters fashioned after Ugandan basket patterns.  It seemed simple enough.  No.  It’s not.  I was carrying three strands of thread from the third row.  Maybe there is a way to avoid this, but I don’t know it; the threads wrapped ’round and ’round each other and made a tangled mess that I had to stop and untangle every few stitches. Trying to hold the tension steady while I switched colors back and forth with each stitch was another frustration.  I would have pulled my hair out, except my hands were wrapped up in crochet thread.  The other problem I had with this is I didn’t increase enough stitches, so it’s concave.  I believe it’s going to morph into a little tiny bowl, and there will not be a matching set.  Perhaps after I breathe awhile and learn how not to tangle my multiple threads, I will try again.

What is on your workspace?