Welcome to the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge, where we showcase people whose embroidered creativity is fresh and new!
Anthony Stevens, aka WabiSabiStar is a U.K based, self taught textile artist who uses embroidery as a form of therapy and self expression.
“Primarily, my work is about expressing and processing life, past and present. I chose to work with textiles and embroidery as these were materials which were always around me as a child. It seemed natural to gravitate towards them. Many of the images I use come from my practice of Nichiren Buddhism and chanting ‘Nam Myoho Renge Kyo’. Whilst chanting, I tend to see images in my minds eye which at times come with an intuitive feeling as to whether this is something worth working with.
“It is during the actual creative process that the image starts to reveal it’s many layers of meaning to me. This is also reflected in the actual textiles themselves (for instance, I use stripes in most of my work. These represent to me the ongoing drama of life and death, conciousness and unconciousness ) and the manner in which I stitch. I guess it’s me dancing with my inner dynamics so that I can find a rhythm that is both constructive and wonderful.
“I will also often choose to work with with scrap fabrics. By choosing to do this, I am forced to look creatively and perceive potential in what may seem to be useless and beyond repair. This is in direct correlation with how I strive to perceive my own life and my experiences. As with life, it is sometimes a painstaking and frustrating process, but ultimately I feel joy and satisfaction with the result.
The creative process is an amazing thing and I really like that Anthony explores the edge of his creativity through meditation and chanting. The end result is something raw, but at the same time something pure.
Unedited embroidery, created on fabric scraps, produces a punk aesthetic that is packed with energy. The variety and story in the work reminds me of Tilleke Schwarz, yet the immediacy of the process is akin to the work of Paul Nosa. It’s on the edge of improvisation and filled with the bravery that comes from stitching what comes to mind without any course correction.
Follow Anthony on Instagram to see what he’s up to – I look forward to seeing what he produces next!