This piece was produced for the 2013 National Stitch/Madeira competition. The criteria is to create a piece which epitomises the given title by machine embroidery or hand stitching.
I use a very basic Bernina sewing machine in straight stitch mode to ‘draw’ with the threads. The piece took approximately three months to complete and over 10,000 metres of thread; the surface is entirely covered by tiny stitches of varying hues. The work is comparatively small being 20 x 12 inches, produced in sections to prevent the canvas base from warping.
This competition provides the opportunity to challenge my own versatility (or not!). Each year I try to create a piece which challenges my own practices; be it technique, subject matter or/and style. This work is very different to my usual style of working. I gain enormous inspiration from architecture, natural forms and wildlife; less so people and therefore this piece is a compromise between the two. The use of stylisation/caricature was definitely a challenge and I personally feel I could have created a more fluent character.
The piece was the overall winner of the National Stitch/Madeira competition and also the ‘mainly machine embroidery’ category winner and has just returned from the subsequent UK tour.
Profile of the Artist: Sally Wilson ASGFA is a fine artist who lives in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. She has a diverse practice using materials such as welded metal, machine embroidery, drawing and pen work, acrylics and recycled fabrics. Sally often combines media in both two and three dimensional works.
Sally achieved a first class honours degree in Fine Art (sculpture) at Loughborough College of Art & Design in 1989. She taught Fine Art and for thirteen years was Team leader of Art at Huddersfield New College. In 2005 she had a traumatic head injury, although this ended her teaching career it enabled her to concentrate solely on producing art.
Sally’s “Sheffield Remembers” drawing was awarded the Highly Commended Work in Colour prize at Draw 14, the SGFA Annual Exhibition.