Welcome to the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge, where we showcase people whose embroidered creativity is fresh and new!
Marjolein Burbank is a paper, stitch and textile artist based in the Netherlands, although she has lived all over the world!
We featured Marjolein in a post for our Beneath The Folds column but decided it was a good time to get back in touch as Marjolein adapted her work to a new scale due to the pandemic, and has found a whole new material to use as her fabric.
It’s fascinating to see how artists have adapted to such changes and how the pandemic still influences how they work today.
How did your technique evolve?
It feels that I have always been stitching. I have been making traditional quilts for a long time, that evolved in making art quilts. Thats how I started to express myself artfully. Slowly my art moved from stitching in fabric to using all kinds of material to stitch through.
Since the start of the pandemic, with no exhibitions, I am using more and more material that can be sent away in an envelope. Thats when I found that vintage photographs are a great foundation for my art. I love to stitch my opinions (not always clear for the viewer, I like to shout softly) in vintage materials.
I love the idea that Marjolein presents of “shouting softly”. Within her work you can see hidden meanings, to be interpreted by the viewer. It can take time to understand what you take away from an artwork. When this happens, it usually means the work has a long lasting impression and raises internal questions.
What other artists inspire you?
Artists that express an opinion, personal art. An artist that tells a story. I love stitched words. Just some names come to mind: Orly Cogan, Julie Heaton, Louise Riley, Emma Parker and Caren Garfen.
It’s great to see some fellow interviewees in Marjolein’s list of inspirations, there are so many wonderful and well-documented examples of artists who use their practice to tell a story. Others that spring to mind for us include Hagar Vardimon (another artist from the Netherlands), Melissa Zexter and Shaun Kardinal
What is unique about this style of work is the reproduction of elements of old photographs. This expands the narrative of the people and the figures within them.
What is your favourite tool to use in your practice?
That would be a very thin needle. My fine work I do in the morning, without my lenses in. Although I have double-focus lenses, I see a lot clearer without them. These mornings are my favourite time of the day.
Good lighting is essential to those working with hand embroidery, especially when embroidering very fine details. Marjolein captures the most light by making use of her mornings. What a lovely image of a slow and peaceful start to the day with stitching!
Can you share one creative tip with our readers?
If you are on Instagram and you would like people to see your work, try to find hashtags that fit your art. And use them. It is not so much about the about of likes you get but the number of people that get the opportunity to enjoy your art.
Another tip is to look for more materials than ‘just’ fabric.
There is no denying that Instagram is an incredibly useful tool for artists, it’s mostly how I find artists to spotlight and interview for our blog. It is a free and vast audience to exhibit your work to and a great community can be found when you target your content in the right direction.
Thank you so much to Marjolein for joining us once again and bringing us a brilliant update on her work and practice. You can follow her on Instagram or head to her website for more of the artist’s work.