I’ve been a massive fan of Tilleke Schwarz ever since I discovered her work. It’s a visual feast, but when you see them in shows, there’s always too much on each piece to look at in a quick hit. So her latest book, New Potatoes, is a treat, as it gives you forever to enjoy her work.
This self published book features interviews with and narrative from Tilleke, and also big pictures of her work from 2007 to 2012. The combination of full page pictures and detail shots is terrific as it gives to time to really study the work and enjoy all the technical aspects and details.
The book features some brand new pieces and I’m not going to show you pictures of them here as I would strongly encourage you to get your own copy of the book. Tilleke says her work focuses on “the idiocy of [our] times” and I couldn’t agree more. There are all kinds of references, and snippets of real life woven into her work, with a terrific sense of humour underpinning each piece.
As I’ve mentioned before, my favourite piece has to be Fisk (2010) which features a veloceraptor quoting me! It’s a thrill to see a bigger version of the work and take the time to enjoy the small details within the piece. And, at risk of repeating myself, this is the real strength of the book. You can lose yourself for hours absorbing all the details, while Tilleke’s bilingual narrative helps you appreciate the context and intention in the work.
You can buy Tilleke’s book directly from her website and I would encourage educators to buy it for their students as an example of how great contemporary embroidery can be. You can also find out how Tilleke self-published in this Surface Design Journal article.
New Potatoes a great book and I hope you enjoy it!