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.
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).
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.”
Avenger by Soraya Abidin
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.
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.
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.
You can see how her hand-stitching contributes to the overall movement of her design.
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.
Just amazing! I wish I had such patience.
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.
Detail from Topology of Memory series.
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!