The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Gillian Bates

Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Gillian Bates is an artist from Eastbourne, UK, who uses machine embroidery to capture memories of seaside Britain.

Gillian Bates' Sailing - embroidered postcards

Whether it’s pictures of piers or icecream or seagulls, Gillian’s work shows you perfect moments in coastal towns. She says the following about her work:

“I believe that habit and habitat draw a veil over our eyes. We become so accustomed to the people and places we see everyday that eventually we fail to see them properly at all. My aim is to pull back the veil and in doing so reveal the extraordinary and beautiful wonder of everyday life.


I hope to do this by exploring the notion that man and landscape are part of the same, essential fabric and as such are seemingly stitched together – inextricably inter-connected and inter-dependent. By recapturing and reconceptualising the seemingly humdrum moments of everyday life in this way I hope to rediscover in them some fresh and revealing connections.”

Gillian Bates' Eastbourne Pier

She continues: “Recently I have felt more and more compelled to explore and celebrate my local environment. The brilliantly idiosyncratic, seaside towns of Sussex, their wonderful residents and stunning architecture continue to be the single, greatest driving force behind my work and a constant source of enjoyment and inspiration. ”

(The more observant of you will have spotted that the pier above is not Brighton Pier, but is in fact Eastbourne Pier.) The piece below features Marine Court, in St. Leonards on Sea.

Gillian Bates' Marine Court at St Leonard's on Sea

My grandparents lived near Brighton, and I know these places and spaces and moments. I’ve had a few of them. Mine also include watching my grandfather’s dog chase after her ball high upon the cliffs, and picking cockles out of rock pools. But I digress…

Gillian Bates' Flower Stall

Gillian’s work is lovely and you can buy some from her etsy shop, or see her other work on her Flickr photostream.

This rather ropey picture below features the piece I bought, which does feature Brighton Pier this time! 🙂

Gillian Bates' Brighton Pier

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9 thoughts on “The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Gillian Bates

  • these are truly amazing – like those line drawing you would do in art class where you could not lift your pen from the paper – oh, but far more skillful than that

  • Thanks for sharing Terry. I really like Gillian Bates work.

  • Sorry for the “Terry”. This is connected to another blog and I thought I was commenting there. Beautiful work!

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