At Airedale Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild, we are taking our first steps into the world of 'Travelling Books', a project that many branches have taken part in. Travelling Books are so called, simply enough because they travel between members of a small group. At the end of each book's journey, each member of the group has a unique and inspirational book on their chosen theme, filled with creative contributions from their fellow embroiderers.
This year, my work will be mostly in response to the theme of our planet's destruction and potential repair and I will be taking part in several Guild projects at branch, regional and national level. For me, the Travelling Book project has been a brilliant opportunity to start my investigations into the theme, collect source material and begin working on samples. My own theme is "FIX, MEND, REPAIR".
My primary inspiration for my 2019 work comes from satellite and drone images showing the beguilingly beautiful patterns created by man's exploitation of the planet's surface. Curated collections of Google Earth images at Daily Overview, Earth View and Pinterest as well as the stunning photograhic images of artists Mishka Henner and Bernhard Lang show a myriad of complex patterns covering the Earth on an unimaginable scale.
These patterns' obvious similiarity to textile techniques makes the subject irrisistible for me as a stitch-artist. The fields of centre pivot irrigation are patchwork, the feedlots of cattle are tiny seed stitches, the scorched patterns of deforestation demand to be repaired, imagining that this could be a possibility in actuality.
The process of destroying and then meticulously repairing a scrap of old linen seems like a infinitesimally insignificant thing to do in the face of a global catastrophe but working through my thoughts on the subject by making, hones my determination to make some sort of difference by being part of a greater movement.
Forever driven by Louise Bourgeois' numerous thoughts on the importance and value of repair, on I go, one stitch at a time.
PS I am covering all of our branch's twelve travelling books on the Facebook and Instagram accounts for Airedale Branch.