The Cutting & Stitching Edge – Shannon Rankin

Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Shannon Rankin is an interdisciplinary artist from Maine in the US. As Selflesh, she creates amazing pieces of mixed media art.
She says “in search of finding connections between geography, anatomy, and botany, I combine the visual elements of maps, anatomical illustrations, and natural forms to explore themes of travel, healing, and time.
“Maps depicting mountain ranges, roads, lakes, and rivers, resemble internal biological features, reproductive anatomy, skeletal structures, and networks of the human body. Symbols of cities become acupuncture points, and meridian lines, like rivers, represent an internal system of communication and transport. Geometric seed patterns, made of globe-like pieces of map, reference small worlds, suggesting the potential for a broader landscape. The ephemeral nature of maps, speak to the fragility, and transitory state of our lives and our surroundings.

In many ways this use of maps seems like a simple concept, but Shannon makes those connections between the land and the human form, and it all makes sense. The bird imagery, which is a recurring theme, reminds me of the connections migrating species have with the world – connections which we cannot understand as land dwellers.
Shannon exhibits in many places; you can read about her work on her blog, be amazed by it on her Flickr, buy some of it at her etsy store and even check out her fine art website as well.


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.

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