Cath Orain is an embroidery artist from Paris, France.
“I started embroidering ten years ago; as with many artists, my intention was to produce works which may shake up the classical idea that most people had about stitching. As I always have been fascinated by erotic representation, I decided to associate this hot subject with the sensuality of fibre.
“I wished to express freely my point of view about feminine desire (e.g. The Wave) and talk about important women’s issues across the world like oppression (e.g. Oppression), rape (e.g. Wounds), maternity and renouncement (e.g. Psychedelic Eve) hopefully doing it with humour, power and poetry.
“I love mixing precious fabrics like silk and linen with beads and sequins and drawing techniques like markers, acrylic paint or gold leaf. I mainly embroider with the Lunéville hook, a little tool used by haute couture embroiderers.“
Cath’s work is highly evocative, combining eroticism with strong messages that stir the senses in all manner of directions. She finds beauty in the mundane, and her heroines display an inner strength that is contrasted with the often monochromatic design approach.
The use of the Lunéville or tambour hook produces delicate chain stitches that Cath uses to create depth and contour in her images. There is a playfulness in some of her work, and she balances light and dark not only in individual pieces but throughout her portfolio.
There’s always an element of shock value in embroidered erotic art, but Cath isn’t just making these pieces for the fun of it; the nudity serves a purpose in delivering her message. Earlier hand embroidered works made light of sexual matters, but the Lunéville pieces have more gravity; the density of the stitches aligns to the strength of the content.