The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Maria Wigley

Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Maria Wigley is a lecturer and textile artist from Birmingham, England.

I’ve been a fan of Maria’s work for a very long time and am consistently impressed by her output. Maria works in a range of textiles, combining print, applique, embroidery and other media to create some really inspired and very charming pieces.

The [textile] works are part of my ongoing interest and activity within a Fine Art textiles context utilising embroidery, paint and mixed media. The artwork incorporates many of the ideas and techniques I have developed but they are also a direct response to my changing circumstances over the last two years, namely my daughter Lara, who is fast approaching two years old. As a new mum I felt enormously inexperienced, sometimes lonely and very often struggled with the day to day chores, as well as trying to continue with my creative interests.

” Over time I began to involve my daughter in my creative pursuits more and more. Her enjoyment and the freedom she expressed with paint was incredibly refreshing that it revealed to me just how special it was to be a mother and how important these moments are and exposed the creative bond between us. As a result I considered how, if at all, we could collaborate. These four pieces are the result of this collaboration; a combination of my daughter’s naive spontaneity, playing around with paint that no adult can imitate convincingly, aligned against experience, learned technique and deliberate marks conscientiously stitched in thread which took me many meditative hours to complete.”

As well as the abstract pieces, Maria has produced several works involving stitched photographs: “Here are some examples of photographs that I have transferred onto fabric, then stitch onto. Some of the photos are my own, old family photos or copyright right free imagery that I have found in the Commons.

Each of these transfer pieces is modified and stitched to create images that are hyper-real. The original content is expanded upon in ways that amplify the original intent.

I thoroughly enjoy Maria’s work – each new piece marks another step in her evolution and she continues to create works that cover several different genres. As well as stitched graffiti, the abstract textiles and the transfer pieces, Maria also produces charming wooden and stitched jewellery. She has quite the portfolio!

You can find more of Maria’s work on her Flickr photostream. Enjoy!


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.