The Manifestation of Nothingness

Sample by Kathleen Murphy

In preparation for a forthcoming Summer exhibition we've been exploring an ongoing interest in the imperfections one finds in domestic textiles - frays, marks & mothholes. In particular, a notion that a hole or rent in fabric is in fact a void presenting further design possibilities. 
A void can be described in many ways; as an empty space, blankness, a vacuum, a cavity, an abyss, nothingess. It's definition and meaning has caused much debate in both science, religion and as the basis for fictional writing. In terms of it's practical use in textiles, it can be a powerful space, for example, a point of calm on an otherwise busy surface or an area of concentrated focus on a blank canvas.
Prepare your void...
Pondering these thoughts, the theme for this month's Sewcial followed suit - a chance to explore stains & holes as design considerations on small sample pieces. To get the creative juices flowing, yesterday's workshop began by looking at the work of contemporary artists who have made use of imperfection, stains & holes in their stitched work, such as Anne Wilson, Nava Lubelski and Elvis Robertson. Along the way we touched upon embroidery techniques such as drawn thread work, needleweaving, darning and Twisted Blanket stitch as methods to create or fill voids and enhance imperfections. Each student was given a piece of stained calico as a basis for their sampling. 
The following photo's will give you an idea of their exploration. 
We'll keep you posted about ours!
Picot stitch variation in variegated thread

Red wine rings
Glass stain
Stains trapped in opaque layers
Vibrant base layer...
...With top layer of stitched sheer fabric added

An abundance of seed stitch enhanced by the opacity of the muslin


Flaming Nora said…
Very inspiring. I'm currently quite obsessed with holes and stitching round them. These are fantastic.
Murgatroyd said…
Thank you Flaming Nora. The group took to the task with aplomb and got some great results.