Exhibition Signage – Bankside Gallery
This wonderful exhibition is by the Worshipful Company of Broderers, ‘The Art of Embroidery’, an Open-Submission Art exhibition. The work on display presents embroidery as an artform, not often seen in conventional gallery exhibitions.
Featuring work from both established and emerging artists, both traditional embroidery and modern takes, 2D and 3D, the exhibition is a wonderful showcase of embroidery in all its forms.
These are some of our favourite pieces, showcasing a variety of skills such as Goldwork, Silk Shading, Freehand Machine Embroidery, hand embroidery, blackwork and embellishment.
Viola Two – Mojo and Muse
This beautiful piece is by artist Manoela Grigorova / Mojo and Muse. It is created using hand embroidery on a painted canvas base, with stitches like French knots, silk shading, and beading adding raised and colourful texture.
Happy – Kate Barlow
This lovely hand embroidered piece is by artist Kate Barlow. The stunning combination of Goldwork, leather, couched threads and spangles and vibrant blue tonal silk shading.
Gathering Momentum – Jean Littlejohn
This piece uses a beautiful modern take on seed stitch, in a colourful circle design. A lot of texture has been created through the purposely scattered stitches.
Starman – Sarah De Rousset-Hall
‘Starman’ by Sarah De Rousset-Hall, is an ingenious modern use of Blackwork with an eye-catching Goldwork chipping detail. You can feel the power of the piece staring back at you.
This is Art – Niamh Wimperis
This piece by Niamh Wimperis wonderfully summarises the emotions of the exhibition, giving embroidery the status and recognition as artwork in its own right. The clever message has been tonally blended into the painted canvas though tiny stitches.
Les Fleurs Animees-ChauvreFeuille/Honeysuckle – Apprentice Stitcher Sue
An initiative that the Worshipful Company of Broderers supports is ‘Fine Cell Work’. The company provides useful and purposeful work to prisoners through training them in skilled needlework, which they undertake whilst in their cells. The company also then aids their rehabilitation into the community, providing paid and purposeful work though embroidery.
This work is by one of their apprentices, and uses satin stitch to shade the figures.
Vortex– Sonja Galsworthy
This small but powerful piece is an ingenious use of traditional metalwork materials, with a colourful and mesmerising embroidered twist
Bloom Burst – Isabel Greenslade/Copperlight Studio
As one of our favourite pieces from the exhibition, ‘Bloom Burst’ by Copperlight Studios uses hand embroidered shading and embellishment. By using different lengths of bugle beads, the eye is drawn across the surface, complementing the rich colour palette.
Loveday Fantasy – Nicola Jarvis
This hand embroidered piece by Nicola Jarvis inspirates patterns and colourful designs into a bird and tree design. The variety of hand embroidery stitches add texture and realism to her motifs.
Stanley – Marg Dier
‘Stanley’ is a classic example of traditional and elegant silk shading. Creating an incredibly detailed and realistic shaded bird.
An C18th Tapestry Fragment, reconstructed – Angela Dewar
Lastly, one of the most interesting pieces in the exhibition was this work by Angela Dewar. It is an 18th century tapestry fragment that has been restored and worked into with machine embroidery. The artist has followed the motifs, like the original woven oak leaves and machine embroidered them, cascading off the sample onto the base fabric. A wonderful use of embroidery and a real work of art.
This exhibition left us feeling inspired and already thinking of our next ideas. Seeing a culmination of so many skilled embroidery artists in one place was wonderful.
Thank you to the Worshipful Company of Borderers wonderful exhibition.
Words and Images by Rosie Watkins