Welcome to the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge, where we showcase people whose embroidered creativity is fresh and new!
Holly Levell is a textile artist from the UK who specialises in soft sculpture. Her work recreates familiar foodstuffs and brand names using machine embroidery, with excellent choices that ooze nostalgic charm.
“I am inspired by my daily surroundings and the unnoticed aspects of life and how as an artist I can change the status and meaning of the humble object using my personal textile craft technique. It’s the idea of taking something that is overlooked in life and catapulting it into the spotlight.
“My current work comes from exploring ideas for the objects that feature in our day to day lives. I began to focus on shopping and started stitching a flat bean can in my room, it made me think ‘I wonder if I can make this completely from stitched textiles?’ softening the idea and creating a soft, nostalgic object. Supermarket stitch had begun!
“Originally I had no idea how to go about making them so it was a bit of trial and error. All of the objects have been taken apart and re-sewn together at least 10 times until I get the ketchup bottle lid to look just right or the ring pull on a coke can to look as though you could actually pull on it.
“I never thought about it until I began this work but we all have sentimental memories and a certain fondness for the foods and products that surround us in our lives, a bottle of Heinz Tomato ketchup in the middle of our table at home has become as much a staple piece of furniture as the table and chairs we sit at.”
I love a good soft sculpture and Holly Levell’s choice of subject matter brings a smile to my face. Akin to the work of Harriet Hammel, Holly takes ordinary objects and makes us reconsider them by producing them in soft format. We often take these objects for granted and rarely consider their design, however Holly forces us to think about them in more detail.
Technically adept and well chosen, Holly’s work is great fun and a terrific example of the form. Visit Holly Levell’s website and you can enjoy her process and see her creativity take shape!
The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.