Using Language in Textile Art is a powerful tool indeed. Embroidered text allows you to capture the essence of a subject, providing an emotional layering, insight into personal and imagined experiences to which the viewer can relate. Snippets of text creates ”a rich and vibrant tapestry” (‘Reducing Us to Simply a Heartbeat’) within panels of patchwork and applique.
Embroidering in silk threads and wool provides additional texture, colour and a natural rhythm to the surface. Letters do not have to be perfect. I celebrate imperfection, striving to attain a child-like simplicity and freedom within the written word.
Language in Textile Art: Expressing Trauma
The cancer series conveys the physical brutality of surgery: ”Carve me up, cut it out and send me on my way…Imperfection guaranteed… I shall always fear the sight of me, my frail and frightened breast.”
With an emotional aftermath of fragility and post traumatic stress: ”Insecure, the ugliness implores how perfect you must have been before…Am I sexy now?”
Language in Textile Art: Expressing Abuse
‘Mists of Time’ evokes a fragmented ego, damaged by an overpowering relationship: ”I really must stop, catch myself falling back into…you. Before you ripped me apart, absorbing my torment, turning me into your sport. I cannot recall when the mists rolled in, vacuous and blind, overpowering and unkind…”
‘The Essence of Our Being’ is a love of fragile proportions, a roller coaster of psychological abuse: ”My weaknesses you did delight in. Ammunition for your games. You removed my armour, bit by bit, and crept into the folds…How I miss your tender heart. The way you opened up and let me climb inside. I was always so careful not to tear apart your fragile walls…”
Language in Textile Art: Expressing Loss
‘Grace’ captures the emptiness of a parent haunted by the death of a child, unable to move on: ”A gentle waterfall caresses the windowpane and your tiny baby footsteps pitter-patter, pitter-patter, swelling my heart with joy again…Your laughter still bounces off the walls today.”
And ‘Cocktails at Nine’ demonstrates the urge to escape an ordered life of routine and commitment: ”To put aside all that I am and let the craving engulf my very being…Just this one time.”
For detailed poetry and text please visit The Womanhood Collection by Christine Cunningham.