I am an embroiderer whose aim is to celebrate the beauty of stitch by exploring its structural and sculptural potential. I use the three-dimensional form of a stitch to guide the design of the finished piece, and enhance the visual imagery with vibrant colour. I work on a small scale creating a sense of precious miniaturisation and fragility; using traditional stitches but in an innovative and modern way.
I have been a stitcher all my life, having been taught to sew by my mother at the age of three; and have always loved to handle threads and fabrics. During my embroidery degree at Manchester Polytechnic I became interested in the sculptural and structural potential of embroidery stitches and techniques. Since graduating in 1990 I have continued to develop this interest and create works to express it. In 2013 I was selected to be a member of the 62 Group of Textile Artists. I live and work in Stockport, Greater Manchester.
My inspiration begins with the selection of an embroidery stitch or technique, which I then explore to reveal its shape and form. This analysis generates ideas for the theme and structure of the finished work. The embroideries often reference shapes, patterns and rhythms drawn from nature, which are used to generate bold geometric forms. I use vibrant progressions and interactions of colour to enhance these designs. Each work is closely planned before stitching starts, however as I render the design in three-dimensions, I sometimes discover unexpected shapes emerging from the build-up of thread lines.
Having carefully planned their positions, I drill fine holes in acrylic shapes to create routes for the thread to travel through. Some of the works also have sheer fabrics incorporated into the design with which the threads interact. I use transparent and translucent supporting materials to allow the journey of the stitched threads to be viewed from different angles, revealing the three-dimensional shape of the stitches, and creating continually changing perspectives.