The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Sarah Greaves

Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Sarah Greaves is a Manchester-based artist who I’ve been excited about for a long time.

Sarah Greaves - Banana

“I describe my work as Embroidered Graffiti. I use the traditional craft of embroidery to vandalise and graffiti everyday objects with emotive, political and thoughtful text. Fridges, doors, food and sinks become canvases for hidden thoughts.

Sarah Greaves - The End - embroidery on door

“My work explores stereotyped identities and gender roles, our internal monologues and the public and private “self”. It pushes the tradition of embroidery and reframes the location and voice of the graffiti artist. The embroidered text is delicate and “feminine” while the process demands “masculine” tools such as drills and clamps. Visceral, intangible thoughts become permanently graffitied onto familiar, domestic objects.”

Sarah Greaves - Plug Hole - embroidery on metal

It comes as no surprise to regular readers that I love this stuff. All too often embroidery gets contained within the textile world and so it’s terrific to see Sarah knocking the ball out of the park and stitching on all manner of surfaces.

Sarah Greaves - Chocolate

We sometimes forget that embroidery is rebellious and can be used as vandalism, and Sarah’s work reminds us of these facts (fortunately without breaking any social rules). From the softness of a banana through to doors and metalwork, Sarah punches holes in familiar objects and makes us think differently about them.

Sarah Greaves - Gate - embroidery on wood

I’m really interested to see how Sarah’s practice evolves. The premise is simple and yet there is so much space to explore. While some of these pieces are rendered inert – holey kitchen sink! – others of them gain a new sense of beauty and grace. Who wouldn’t want an embroidered door inside their home?

Sarah Greaves - The Toaster

I hope that other artists feel inspired to take stitch out into new contexts. Just be sure to visit Sarah’s website and give her the praise she deserves.


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

Is Cross Stitch Expensive? | Mr X Stitch

Mr X

Jamie Chalmers, aka Mr X Stitch, aka the Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery is the founder of the Mr X Stitch site, the world's longest running embroidery blog, the curator of PUSH Stitchery and the author of the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch. He is also the founder of XStitch, the game-changing cross stitch design magazine which launched in Summer 2017.

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