My story with embroidery began in Cornwall in the early 80’s when we were holidaying as a family. During a quiet moment, I rested against a large oak tree and whilst settled with eyes closed, I suddenly had a vision of embroidery set into stained glass. This vision stayed with me and on returning home I shared it with a friend in Oxford who was an embroiderer. I on the other hand was not, and asked her to show me a few basic stitches. The story then took on a life of its own. That was over 35 years ago.
The approach I have to creative expression, has been to face the blank canvas, so to speak, with a sense of being empty and without expectation. In other words, I’ve learned to let go of the desire for a particular outcome and simply enter the flow of creative journeying with a sense of playfulness, trust, and childlike wonder.
Creativity expands our awareness and this experience grows us in ways we never imagined.
These creative offerings in the form of textile embroidery sculptures rise from a deep wellspring of love for life; her natural detail and patterning. I see each new art piece as an entrance portal or invitation which holds the promise of playful connection and prayerful communion.
Every embroidery with its million stitches is always unplanned; every outcome a revelation; a dance with detail, texture, colour and light – all holding the power to open the heart and delight the soul. In this instance it’s a wonderful thing to say yes without knowing the end result; akin to being taken by the hand of a trusted friend and being led onward into uncharted territory where you experience both anticipation and excitement.
I’ve found that when I’m committed to this creative endeavouring, there is a linking with all the lineages of ancestral stitchers, embroiderers, colourists, painters, illuminators etc.; threading, and painting them and their stories through awareness into the present moment.
In particular, the materials I use for my embroidery work, include beautiful natural linens, found natural objects including sea shells, lichen, moss and wood-bark; often preferring hand-dyed threads; handmade silver pieces; glass beads; egg shell and small pebbles. I don’t accumulate things so these natural objects usually draw my attention whilst I’m wayfaring in forests, coastlines etc. I follow no rules and have been know to cut, tear and manipulate embroidered pieces even after they seem complete.
The natural world informs this expression and one of the greatest wisdom teachings it imparts, is to continually let go, particularly of an outcome as she herself doesn’t hold on and the old always give way to the new.
With love and blessings,