Caren Garfen, Cloth and Memory/ Hans Christian Anderson/ Personal Response Inspired Embroidery

So before I even went to the Cloth and Memory exhibition yesterday, I have already started a sample which had an uncanny resemblance to the work of Caren Garfen. Based on the women of Saltaire from the 1891 census. Hand stitching into long thin pieces of cloth. So much precision and time into these pieces. I always want to whip out a quick sample which usually produces some interesting marks and unplanned quirks but with this I thought no I’ll take this out of my comfort zone. Now I really appreciate taking the time to create a well crafted piece.

With my sample I just wanted to get involved with some kind of embroidery. In fact the day I started this piece I had a bit of a melt down! A panic! Melissa directed me…get material, thread and go! So I flicked through my Hans Christian Anderson complete work of tales and picked out a quote I felt fitting for the some what loneliness depression can have on an individual. Anderson, who suffered with depression all, was consumed with his writing. I first found out about him and his life on a walking tour in Copenhagen during my time abroad. I took the quote;
“But if you take my voice”, said the Little Mermaid, “what shall I have left?”
My personal response to this was,
“And I thought to myself “my needle and thread”

My response obviously being the way I voice my own emotion, through my practice. Similar to the different types of therapies I have been looking at.
I began experimenting wih stitch prior to this, trying out a coral stitch but the plain back stitch proved most successful. The first yarn worked great, but the second yarn not so much it was very papery and not particularly flexible. It detracts from the legibility of the text.
The backdrop was lined paper which I had trapped between masking tape to strengthen for stitching.

Next I want to try using different yarns, materials and instead of the weird use of masking tape, I want to back my materials with a backing, stitch and tear.

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