The sun is out, the birds are singing and tiny little umbrellas are appearing in drinks – summer is well and truly here folks, in all it’s humid glory. So why not grab yourselves a nice cold beverage, angle that fan just right and dive in to this month’s ‘Exploring Etsy’. Something I take great pleasure in in the summer months is the riot of colour on show wherever you look, so it really does give me great pleasure to present you with this month’s featured maker Emily Tull, who is an absolute master of colour. Her shop ‘artyemily‘ is a real testament to that.
Ramsgate based artist Emily Tull graduated from KIAD in 2000 and since then has exhibited internationally in group and solo shows. Recently she was a finalist in the Winter Pride Art Awards and also selected for the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition, Mall Galleries, Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize and even been a contestant on Sky Art’s Portrait Artist of the Year 2014. For the last six years Emily has been using wildlife imagery to experiment with fabrics, looking predominantly at British species she also draws inspiration from curiosity cabinet displays and her mother’s bee collection. Unless stitching a face, where she starts with the eye and works out from there, her actual sewing process is quite instinctive and random. She flits between different colour threads cross hatching, weaving the thread over and under until she is happy with the overall effect, often comparing it to using colouring pencils. Emily is striving to close the gap between what is deemed ‘craft’ and what is art.
What is your earliest stitching memory?
Not sure how old I was, (under 10 years old), I was given a ‘toy’ sewing machine, a mini-machine that was fully functioning which came with samples of fabric. I recall my mum teaching me different stitches and joining fabric together.
What fires your imagination?
Anything and everything! Literature, historical relics, music, curiosity cabinets and ripped wallpaper all inspire. But so do ‘storylines’ in my life or friends and not forgetting fabric – a piece of herringbone found in a remnant bin at my local haberdashery inspired a hare, deer and pheasant.
Every single stitch Emily makes brings her work to life, each piece wonderfully full of energy, it’s almost as if they could come to life at any moment. I’ve been a long time fan of Emily’s work and I really hope now you all are too! Make sure to pop along to her shop to see more.
Jessica Taylor aka Loadofolbobbins is a Textile Artist and Illustrator based by the sea in Portsmouth. At her happiest with a needle and thread, with a passion for genealogy she often explores old photographs in her textile art. With her fingers in many creative pies she loves to experiment with new techniques, creating illustrated and stitched goodies for her Etsy shop.