Welcome to the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge, where we showcase people whose embroidered creativity is fresh and new!
Meredith Woolnough is a visual artist from New South Wales who uses free machine embroidery and soluble fabrics to create mesmerising organic-inspired sculptures that are as technically triumphant as they are visually beautiful.
“Her elegant embroidered traceries capture the power, beauty and fragility of nature in knotted embroidery threads. The work explores the sculptural possibilities of a unique embroidery technique that utilises a domestic sewing machine and a base fabric that dissolves in water. By repeatedly stitching threads into dense structures Meredith creates intricate and complex openwork compositions that are then carefully suspended in space with pins, causing them to cast delicate shadows.
“I have always found inspiration in the natural world. I am lucky enough to live close to both coastal and bushland environments so I get go visit various habitats frequently. Exploring, collecting and drawing makes up a large part of the field work aspect of my practice and I like to research any plant or animal thoroughly so I understand it before I translate it into stitches.
“I am also a keep scuba diver so I love to explore the world below the waves as well. I have always been fascinated by the structure of things, from the hard shapes of coral colonies to the minute arterial veins in leaves. I like to draw parallels between the growth and life systems of various organisms in my work commenting upon the interconnectedness of all living things.
Not unlike the work of Andy Goldsworthy, Meredith’s work reminds us of the architectural beauty of nature. Her clever use of soluble fabrics produces art pieces that are calming and beautiful. The use of small pins to suspend the work maintains the illusion of their actually being real organic objects, while allowing shadows to add more intricacy to the overall effect.
It’s certainly inspirational. A relatively simple technique is deployed with grace and style, and I know I’d love one of these pieces on the walls of my home. Meredith’s work is rightfully enjoyed the world over and as well as publishing a book – Organic Embroidery, she has a range of online classes that teach you her techniques.