The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Melanie Fitzmaurice

Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Melanie Fitzmaurice is a textile artist from Victoria, Australia.

Nightmare Landing, 2011-12 (Photo - Garry Smith)

I map my understanding of places, objects and experiences through sculpture. My artworks grow from a process of problem solving, where I apply a new logic to familiar objects. I draw on what I recognise and understand in an attempt to grasp what is new or challenging.

“My sculptures take the form of unlikely combinations of domestic or utilitarian objects and fragments of the human body. In adjusting these familiar forms, I work to construct metaphors that highlight the connections that I see between geographical expeditions and a more internalised experience of navigation.

Explorer's Twin Hooks, 2010 (Photo - Garry Smith)

“As a sculptor I am fascinated by the fundamental role that our bodies play in our understanding of space, movement, communication and identity. The figure appears throughout my work, or is referred to through objects, garments and helmets.

“The appeal of an entirely stitched surface also lies in its connection to the human body, which is consistently in contact with fabric of some sort. To me, the rhythmic act of sewing a taught skin over a form is intimate, meditative, and lends itself to the process of ‘learning by doing’.

Explorer's Case, 2010 (Photo - Garry Smith

“Often unified in grey, my objects’ fleece surface is easily mistaken for more conventional sculpture materials, such as stone or cast cement. These common objects are denatured beneath their new surface, making way for a new meaning.

“Comparisons between objects belonging to the domestic interior and the outdoors began to emerge in my making during my first international residency in Arbroath, a small fishing town on the east coast of Scotland in 2008. As a traveller I continue to reflect on the concept of locating oneself in transit; of moving forward and looking back. I consider themes such as orientation, disorientation, the familiar and the unknown.”

Explorer's Helmet, 2012 (Photo - Garry Smith)

I find Melanie’s work to be quite engaging. The greyness of all her work displaces it from reality and gives it a heightened sense of experimentation. The combination of hard objects and soft furnishings adds to the contrast of domestic objects and body parts, leaving us with pieces that may have been made by Dr Moreau’s interior designer. I like ’em!

Tip of the Iceberg (Backpack), 2012 (Photo - Garry Smith)With smart construction and cool style, Melanie’s work is an interesting exploration of an idea and it’s worth visiting her website to see how this project is evolving.


The Cutting & Stitching Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the must-have embroidered art book by Mr X Stitch !