The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Luisa Zilio

Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Luisa Zilio is an embroidery artist from Bristol.

Luisa Zilio - Frida Kahlo - Hand Embroidery

“I am a textile artist who has been studying mental health and its sufferers for many years. Drawn from an emotional and physical investment in my subject, I present a series of embroidered portraits of significant cultural figures with a potent common thread; of mental health and its link to a particularly powerful strain of creativity.

Luisa Zilio - Dylan Thomas - Hand Embroidery

“My aim is to draw attention to my work from viewers who may take an interest in the subjects themselves, and then present the often stigmatised subject matter of mental health; raising awareness, as well as celebrating it for its less negative connotations, illustrating the undeniable link to a particularly dazzling form of creativity. 

Luisa Zilio - Nina Simone - Hand Embroidery

“My use of embroidery is also a direct reference to my own Bipolar disorder. It’s a technique I use to control emotion, to focus my mind, a meditative process. The repetitive nature of the work in which I immerse myself and the painstaking and physically demanding hours put into each piece are factors that lead to a genuine emotional investment in my work.”

Luisa Zilio - Vivien Leigh - Hand Embroidery

I’m glad Luisa shared her portfolio with me, I really like it. It’s an interesting collection of characters brought together by a subject that is still somewhat taboo. Luisa’s process has a therapeutic element, not unlike the work of Alex Walters and I’d interested to find out more about the healing power of stitch from her experience.

Luisa Zilio - Jean-Michel Basquiat - Hand Embroidery

Luisa Zilio - Virginia Woolf - Hand Embroidery


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.