Here we are. 2018. We’ve had a fight about a big red button, the NHS is on it’s knees and the new series of Black Mirror might as well be reality TV. Cheery huh? To lighten the mood how about a nostalgic trip back to 90s? When life seemed a lot simpler and one of my biggest concerns was if I would I ever complete Cave Offensive on Kirby (FYI I haven’t but I am still working on it). This month’s Deviant Discovery is Swedish artist Per Fhager. How on earth have I not stumbled upon his work before?
Fhager’s exhibition ‘Crafted Worlds’ is not only a visual delight but also touches on a lot of other themes, both playful and thought provoking. By displaying his work in a gallery context, the pieces begin to blur the lines between ‘art’ and ‘craft’ which opens up all kinds of discussion about where embroidery belongs and who it belongs to. Not to put anyone in boxes here, but to an outsider Fhager has fused a practice historically linked to “women’s work” with video games, a world that once was largely dominated by men.
By making tangible pieces that only existed digitally and spending hours meticulously embroidering a screen shot that had a brief moment of gameplay brings an interesting tension within the work. Having said that, I dread to think how many hours I have spent playing on the aforementioned Cave Offensive. Crafted Worlds celebrates both video gaming and needlepoint. Both reflective of the time we invest into them.
In hundreds of years time will art historians be looking back on Fhager’s work trying to determine why we were so fixated on escaping reality by becoming a plumber and trying to save a Princess from a dinosaur? I don’t know but it’s a cool thought.
If you want to keep up to date with his latest work you can find him on Instagram here.
Kate Blandford is a craft and doodle enthusiast currently working in Bristol. With a penchant for cross stitch and pixels, Kate produces work dabbling in both the handmade and the digital. Her work was once described as ‘shabby chic for Satanists’ due to her love of embroidery, twee skulls and Slayer. You can visit her website here: www.kateblandford.com