The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Aya Kakeda

Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Aya Kakeda is a textile and performance artist from Brooklyn. In her own words, “she likes Cats, seals , and receiving postcards and she has ever changing weekly obsessions, now it’s Clavariaceae and star nosed mole. She also elaborates lots of theories about lot of things. When she doesn’t indulge in her obsessions she paints and draws, creating her own whimsical narratives.

I asked Aya about her inspiration: “My grandmother on my mother’s side was a tea ceremony teacher and she wore Kimono all the time, sometimes the Kimono maker would come to our house and opens rolls and rolls of beautiful textile to show her. I loved seeing the artistic pattern and textures of those rolls covering the Tatami of our tea ceremony room. My grandmother on my father’s side is a great craft maker, she would make dolls, wall decorations and quilts and send it to us for presents.

So I was fascinated by textiles from early age, and also seeing those craft objects around growing up I have a sentimental attachments to these techniques.  I think this sentimental and sweet medium works with my dark and kind of scary narratives, I love the contrast between the medium and what it really says.”

Aya’s narratives include “the Adventures of 3 Children” who are a particularly mischievous bunch; her style of stitching is very cartoony and charming and contrasts nicely with the gruesome subject matter.

I find Aya’s work instantly pleasing – they are vignettes into a fully formed world that lives in Aya’s imagination. It’s a crazy place, and I wouldn’t want to be lost in there..!

Aya is extremely creative and I love seeing what goes on in her world. You can find out more about her on her website.

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.

Recent Posts

link to Amish Quilts

Amish Quilts

Julie Rodgers tells us all about Amish quilts in this issue of Quilty Pleasures. We learn about the specific patterns as well as the types of materials which are used in the quilting projects. Many...