Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Thursday, 22 January 2015
I am fascinated by the idea that my portraits may be living. Do you remember the bit in the witches where the little girl trapped in the painting moves around and ages? My nine year old eyes were wide.
I think out of all my embroideries Cordelia has lived the most, she has personally travelled to Mexico, made friends, had a lesbian experience, contemplated death and been a grownup rainbow bright.
Below we have The Nine Lives of Cordelia....
In the Skylight of Dalston Superstore with Tear Chandeliers
Meeting Mia in the studio
In the window of The Hospital Club
Conversing with Liquid Lucy
In the Jungle of Mexico
Spreading her wings for Gem & Bolt
Talking with Maria - Photo by Jessica Lutz
Playing with Death
A little film...
Tuesday, 6 January 2015
This year I worked on some portraits for Vestoj a beautifully curated magazine. This issue is on Slowness and as you know, I am a fan of slow! I have made a number of Englishmen uncomfortable by forcing them to Slow Dance this year as well as my profession!
I got to sew some great faces and they were picked up in a taxi to be photographed by true professionals, So I haven't actually seen how they have turned out yet, because when we were supposed to pop some champagne and swap magazines and stand around in a circle patting eachothers backs, we had to cancel, because everyone was sick, crying or scared. Ha ha
Here is an idea of what is in the issue, and if it appeals you may just click on the link above to purchase.
This issue explores the politics of time in dress - from our on-going infatuation with nostalgia, the current focus on craftsmanship and all the 'slow movements' that are gathering force in culture to the importance of technological advances in capitalist production and the constantly accelerating pace of society today - something which fashion is right at the centre of. Amongst much else, it contains all from anthropologist John Barker writing on mourning rituals in Papua New Guinea and Anabaptist scholar Donald Kraybill describing Amish fashion to interviews with designers Dries van Noten, Hussein Chalayan, Margaret Howell, Christophe Lemaire and Nigel Cabourn, image portfolios by Mark Borthwick and Justine Kurland and short stories by Lydia Davis and Hortense Calisher. In addition, 300 specially commissioned hand embroidered bookmarks made by Jupe by Jackie have been distributed at random - maybe yours will be the golden ticket!
Me actually being slow
After I got back from New Orleans this happened:
I literally just wanted to do 5 portraits and put it behind me, but in the end 40 people got in touch, because 30 people had shared the post that reached more than 7000 people (whatever that means in fb language).
It really cheered me up! Sometimes the internet is quite amazing.
So here are some of the ones I have done so far...
This is Allison Bell an Opera singer that I met in New Orleans shortly before, who originates from Tasmania and lives about 10 minutes down the road from me! I got a chance to very quickly take a picture of the shadow before she came to pick it up, lovely and spooky isn't it?
Next up we have
The Golden Girls
I went to school with twin sisters Allison and Mary Golden, although Mary is now Ayers.
Anyway, Mary is a bit of a hero of mine for various reasons and I look forward to sewing her larger when I have a nice big meaty show to produce for!
This the very handsome Thomas, a friend commissioned it for their anniversary and it was the first one I had framed, which actually turned out to be a disaster as when I picked it up, there was something about it making me uneasy, it wasn't quite right, so I had to get the guy to do it all over again and we tried quite a few things out to get it right. I am not usually so fussy,but once I had the idea in my head, I had to go with it. It turned and was part of the many many lessons I have been learning while working on this project.
This is Joey. He is my School friends husband. I was a bit pissed off, because she had a baby just before Christmas and totally overshadowed my imitation mini me with a real mini me! haha. He had really good hair and the lovely colours of the sunset on his face were a joy. really vibrant. I also added just some simple net layers to set the scene a bit more as it was really breathtaking. Framed it differently, in a box frame and in relief rather than behind a matt. It worked as this one had more relief sewing and I wanted it to be free as the image had so much freedom within it.
This is the first portrait I have done of a kid, I was nervous, hoping that it didn't look like Benjamin Button, but she came out very sweet. That colour and texture of blond hair that only seems to exist in the under fives was just beautiful to sew and her Dad was clever to pick a picture with interesting shadows and colour tones. I stretched it over a mushroom colour board to bring out that glowing halo, but unfortunately I didn't get a picture and this picture is just with my phone, sometimes you just don't get the time to really sit down and photograph things and experiment with light, which is really sad, as once you hand it over that is all that is left for you....
My work station du jour
I shall write about this beauty later as it hasn't quite reached its destination, but I had to share it...
Just getting the next batch ready to sew.
Back to work!