Cutting & Stitching Edge

The Cutting & Stitching Edge | Contemporary Embroidered Art from Mr X Stitch

Luisa Zilio is an embroidery artist from Bristol.

Luisa Zilio - Frida Kahlo - Hand Embroidery

“I am a textile artist who has been studying mental health and its sufferers for many years. Drawn from an emotional and physical investment in my subject, I present a series of embroidered portraits of significant cultural figures with a potent common thread; of mental health and its link to a particularly powerful strain of creativity.

Luisa Zilio - Dylan Thomas - Hand Embroidery

“My aim is to draw attention to my work from viewers who may take an interest in the subjects themselves, and then present the often stigmatised subject matter of mental health; raising awareness, as well as celebrating it for its less negative connotations, illustrating the undeniable link to a particularly dazzling form of creativity. 

Luisa Zilio - Nina Simone - Hand Embroidery

“My use of embroidery is also a direct reference to my own Bipolar disorder. It’s a technique I use to control emotion, to focus my mind, a meditative process. The repetitive nature of the work in which I immerse myself and the painstaking and physically demanding hours put into each piece are factors that lead to a genuine emotional investment in my work.”

Luisa Zilio - Vivien Leigh - Hand Embroidery

I’m glad Luisa shared her portfolio with me, I really like it. It’s an interesting collection of characters brought together by a subject that is still somewhat taboo. Luisa’s process has a therapeutic element, not unlike the work of Alex Walters and I’d interested to find out more about the healing power of stitch from her experience.

Luisa Zilio - Jean-Michel Basquiat - Hand Embroidery

Visit Luisa’s website to connect with her and enjoy more of her work.

Luisa Zilio - Virginia Woolf - Hand Embroidery

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The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.

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The Cutting & Stitching Edge | Contemporary Embroidered Art from Mr X Stitch

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Stewart Easton on a couple of projects, and he’s a great guy. A fantastic illustrator – check out this mural he’s done in the bar at Cecil Sharp House as part of the Yan Tan Tethera project.

Stewart Easton Mural at Cecil Sharp House

Cecil Sharp House is home of the English Folk Dance & Song Society, who are working with David Littler on Yan Tan Tethera, a project that I’ve been helping out with in some stitching lyrics of songs relating to textiles on chairs at locations in London. You can add your #textilefolk stitch to three chairs at these London locations:

Find out more about Yan Tan Tethera at the textilefolksong website.

When I first met Stewart, it was part of an event called Interviews with Boys Who Sew, at MAC, in Birmingham. The event was inspired by Stewart’s exhibition Four Tragic Tales and featured Stewart. David Littler and Twiggy and I. You can see my interview here, but I digress.

Stewart Easton - Four Tragic Tales

I subsequently interviewed Stewart for eMbroidery and now it’s my pleasure to share a great video about one of his pieces Burden of Bones, produced by R&A Collaborations. It’s a great video where Stewart exlains the story and you can really enjoy his work.

Beauty in a Sad Song from R&A Collaborations on Vimeo.

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The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.

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The Cutting & Stitching Edge | Contemporary Embroidered Art from Mr X StitchDiane Meyer is a mixed-media artist from California.

Diane Meyer - Mauer Park - cross stitch on photograph

 

“I am interested in the failures of photography in preserving experience and personal history as well as the means by which photographs transform history into nostalgic objects that obscure understandings of the past.

Diane Meyer - New Jersey II - cross stitch on photograph

“In the Berlin series, sections of the photographs have been obscured by cross-stitch embroidery sewn directly into the photograph. The embroidery deteriorates the original photograph and forms a pixelated version of the underlying image. Since large areas of the photographs concealed by the embroidery, small, seemingly trivial details emerge, while the larger picture and context become erased.

Diane Meyer - Former Guard Tower Off Puschkin Allee - cross stitch on photograph

“The images were taken in the city center as well as in the suburbs where I followed the former path of the Berlin wall through the outskirts of the city. I was particularly interested in photographing locations where no visible traces of the actual wall remain, but which there are subtle clues of its previous existence. These clues include incongruities in the architecture that occurred as new structures were built on newly opened land parcels, changes in street lights or newer vegetation. In addition to the physical aspects that point to the former division of the city, I am interested in the psychological weight of these sites. At times, the embroidered parts of the image run along the horizon line forming an unnatural separation which blocks the viewer from the vantage point of the image. This aspect of the sewing emphasizes the unnatural boundaries created by the wall itself. The sewing, which is soft and domestic provides a literal contrast to the concrete of the wall and a metaphorical contrast to its symbolism.

Diane Meyer - New Jersey I - cross stitch on photograph

“In the series based on family photographs, Time Spent that Might be Otherwise Forgotten, I am interested in the disjunct between lived experience and photographic representation. As the embroidery takes the form of digital pixilation, I am trying to make a connection between forgetting and digital file corruption. The tactile, hand-embroidered overlay not only relates to the digital aesthetic, but also hints at the growing trend of photos remaining primarily digital stored on cell phones and hard drives, but rarely printed out into a tangible object. The images are based on photographs taken at various points in my life and arranged by location.”

Diane Meyer - Erma Berger Strasse - cross stitch on photograph

Sitting somewhere between Wayne Lo’s Obscuration Series, Jessica Wohl’s embroidered photos and Shaun Kardinal’s embroidered landscapes, Diane’s work really pushes my buttons. Her modification of pictures through cross stitch forces you to pay attention to the detail of the scenes, while opening up new opportunities for narrative as well.

Diane Meyer - Bernauer Strasse - cross stitch on photograph

It’s a really simple idea, however Diane’s application of cross stitch is thoughtful and intriguing. It redefines the image, transforming characters and locations with intelligence and style. It brings out the beauty in locations that are somewhat bleak, and puts an air of mystery into otherwise wholesome family pictures.

Diane Meyer - New Jersey III - cross stitch on photograph

You can enjoy Diane’s work as part of The Embroidered Image exhibition, currently showing at the Robert Mann gallery. Visit Diane’s website to enjoy more of her work.

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The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.

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Mr X