Welcome to eMbroidery, a series of interviews with male embroiderers. This month, Henry Hussey.
Name: Henry Hussey
Location: London, UK
Main embroidery medium: Singer Irish sewing machine
Noteworthy projects or pieces: Show RCA 2013 – The Crescendo
How did you come to be an embroiderer?
At college I was recommended to take the BTEC Art course, as you were able to sample different mediums and this lead me to have an affinity for embroidery.
What does it mean to you?
Embroidery is fascinating material as it can carry an emotional weight and conjure in the viewer a sense not only of nostalgia but something that is strong and vivid.
Where do you like to work?
I have a studio in my home as I find it difficult to work in a hectic studio and need it to be tranquil, this is where a majority of my work is created.
How do people respond to you as a male embroiderer?
Usually with bewilderment as they seem to be unable to comprehend why I would be using embroidery or even how I incorporate it into my artwork.
Who inspires you?
Two Argentinian artists I have grown to admirer are Chiachio and Giannone, their use of embroidery to create these magnificent artworks is impressive.
How or where did you learn you learn how to stitch or sew?
I have had no formal training learning how to embroider it was more based on instinct which is inherently why my style is raw and brutish.
Are your current images new ones or have you used them before?
In the artworks I create the imagery is integral and relevant for the period of time that I am working on the piece, as after that it loses the meaning I want to convey.
How has your life shaped or influenced your work?
A source of inspiration has been my family’s history and has informed the work but increasingly I have become fascinated with self-portraiture and examining myself.
What are or were some of the strongest currents from your influences you had to absorb before you understood your own work?
The realisation that the fundamental principle of my artistic practice is to create works which are passionate and undoubtedly done with conviction.
Do formal concerns, such as perspective and art history, interest you?
Reviewing my output it is clear that the historical objects at the British Museum have permeated my thought process and can be seen in the compositions.
What do your choice of images mean to you?
The endeavour of the imagery used in my artwork is to be both engaging and confrontational, it should have an authoritarian nature and draw the viewer in.
Do you look at your work with an eye toward it like what can and can’t be visually quoted? In other words what you will or won’t cut out?
When creating an artwork it is essential to continuously evaluate the piece and determine which elements support the message you are trying to communicate.
Do you have any secrets in your work you will tell us?
It is a belief of mine that the imagery used in artwork should be as near to first-hand as possible, so the penis in The Crescendo is my own except minus the diamantes.
How do you hope history treats your work?
I am determined to gives the artworks a powerful presence, as I want the sentiment with which it was made to be respected and not seen being whimsical.
Where can we find you and your work?
As a recent graduate I am still in the process of researching galleries, I hope to find one that thinks my work is distinctive and would be interested in representing me. You can visit my website in the mean time.
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