The Cutting & Stitching Edge – Frances Goodman


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Welcome to the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge, where we showcase people whose embroidered creativity is fresh and new!

Frances Goodman is a South African artist whose hand embroidered graffiti explore the mundane, the ordinary, the trivial and the dark places that they obscure.

Frances Goodman - I Love Jason - Hand Embroidery
I Love Jason (2007)

Her 2007 collection is called Toilet Graffiti Embroideries and is a series of embroidered hoops that recreate the “folk art” that can be found in the kind of toilets and washrooms that you might not want to hang about in.

Frances Goodman - How Can A Young Offender - Hand Embroidery
How Can A Young Offender (2007)

From her site: “These toilet philosophies, boasts, confessions and rants are reworked into seemingly precious objects, which are at odds with the sometimes lewd and throwaway content. The labour and intensity of hand-embroidering these anonymous, dirty ‘nothings’, reveal a voyeuristic fascination with other people’s sordid fantasies and inner monologues.

I think these are cool.

Toilet graffiti always teeters on the border of darkness, and some of Frances’ other pieces reflect that darkness much more than the ones shown here. This is a terrific idea; the work is high quality and the length of time each piece must have taken suggests a certain voyeurism – to spend hours stitching some else’s private confessions is not the remit of the clean and pure.

Frances Goodman - I Am A Bad Ass - Hand Embroidery
I Am A Bad Ass (2007)

Graffiti is a popular subject matter for contemporary embroidery and the contrast between irreverent commentary and labourious stitching is something that has been used to great effect – Tracey Emin‘s deliberate mistakes as a case in point. We reconsider these fleeting urban art expressions when we connect with the production process and recognise a new value in them. Frances gives us the opportunity to look into these intimate expressions with new eyes.

Frances Goodman - I'm So Fuck'd (2007)
I’m So Fuck’d (2007)

Find out more about Frances Goodman at her website and follow her on Instagram.


Are you at the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge? Do you know of an artist that we should feature? Get in touch!

    Mr X

    Jamie Chalmers, aka Mr X Stitch, aka the Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery is the founder of the Mr X Stitch site, the world's longest running embroidery blog, the curator of PUSH Stitchery and the author of the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch. He is also the founder of XStitch, the game-changing cross stitch design magazine which launched in Summer 2017.

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