Linda Friedman Schmidt

For this Stitchgasm we want to focus on the painterly textiles based work of Linda Friedman Schmidt. She is a German born artist who is currently based in America. Her work is textiles based with a real fine art painterly vibe. It also reminds us of traditional crafts like rag rug making. She uses her own personal clothing in each piece so it is personal and fills in other areas of her works with mixed media substances.

Pretendtress - 2019
Pretendtress – 2019

Note this subtle use of mixed media, the white silks, flowers……(above)

Through her website, we discover much about the meanings behind her work and the methods she uses….

My conceptual textile artwork is centred on medium , process, and their associations and relationships. Discarded clothing is my paint. I give second chances to the worn, the damaged, the mistreated, the abandoned, the unwanted, and to myself. My emotional narrative portraits and figurative artworks examine the human condition through my own lived experience. Discarded clothing is used to question the marginalization of my subjects, all depicted with empathy and compassion. I believe that humans are fragile like cloth, all of us “cut from the same cloth,” our lives entwined, entangled together sharing a common humanity.’

Fear 2020
Fear – 2020

Her work focuses on repair and is deeply personal, connected massively to herself and her past. Look at the image above, the fear as the title suggests, is very real!

She views her art as empowerment….here is an example from the collection titled as this:

No more scars - 2020
No more scars – 2020

The techniques she uses looks like traditional rag rug making, however she tells us that this is something she has never been interested in. Rather the methods she uses are simply to portray the painterly feel of her textile art, resulting in the portrait style pieces we observe.

The small details of each piece really have impact
The small details of each piece really have impact

This piece from her artist statement explains things further: ‘I explore mending, the idea of repair as both a physical and symbolic act relating to individual as well as social trauma. Mending offers hope that a broken present can be transformed into something better. Central to my process is the arrangement and rearrangement of pieces to create a new whole. I hand cut the clothes and piece them together differently, create unity from diversity, metaphorically repair and refashion a world torn apart. I intertwine the energy of many with my own, intermingle diverse fragments to create a new whole which is more than the sum of its parts.’

Unsure of the earths support - 2020
Unsure of the earths support – 2020

Look at the piece above, the tears and outcry are so loud without words! Only a clever artist could pull this off.

This reminds us of Tracey Emin and Louise Bourgeois and other similar artists who push pain through their work to actually help themselves within.

We note that the titles of her pieces do give away a lot of what is threaded through them…

Beneath the surface - 2019
Beneath the surface – 2019

There are certain themes which she uses to split her work on her website too, such as Identity, Human Rights and Emotion.

Some pieces stay with you - this one is particularly haunting
Some pieces stay with you – this one is particularly haunting

the piece above makes us question, we are shocked but kinda’ want to know the story; it is too violent an image not to know! The title is: The Lesson – so what is all that about?!

Maybe this artist has inspired you, to think deeper within your work. Have you used items of your own clothing in your work before? Maybe this is something new to try! We have loads of advice and inspiration all over our site to start you off. What about reading a book review? Try this one, Modern Mending – it might help you to see your old items in a new light! Or how about Mend and Patch by Kerstin Neumuller

Please do check out this artists website and her Instagram too!

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