You often hear writers talking about how characters in their novels develop a life of their own during the writing process. That I can understand. What has surprised me is that a piece of cloth I am currently stitching is exhibiting the same tendency.
After my exhibition in September 2020, I remembered some advice from a fellow artist, that to lessen the post-exhibition low he always painted a yellow painting. Good I thought, I have an old yellow microfibre cloth I can stitch on.
I had visions of all the shades of yellow blending harmoniously together …. the cloth had other ideas.
I learned quickly that this faded and pre-loved cloth had an amazing ability to absorb almost all varieties of yellow. It could suck in sunshine yellow, daisy yellow, and some tones disappeared into it’s surface completely. Apart from contrasting threads, the only thread to boldly resist this challenging cloth is an equally recalcitrant hi-vis yellow stranded thread I bought on a whim some months ago.
20 JANUARY 2021 – Still a work in progress. My post-exhibition piece started last year, de-railed by Christmas and other projects. So much stitching even in a piece 39 x 39 cm. And the back, more gloriously feral than ever, when I realised that the hi-vis threads were too slippery to stay firmly attached without additional stitching. So lots of ripping back and re-sewing.
8 FEBRUARY 2021 – At last the end has been reached! The final lines of hi-vis yellow are in and I even stitched my name onto it. Resistant to the last it has developed a belly in the middle and refuses to sit flat.
Various salvaged, donated and bought embroidery threads on found microfibre cloth.
It was very sneaky of the organisers of the Dobell drawing prize to tell me that I got a mention in this review, but not let on what that mention was.
The full review of the show by Tracy Clement can be read in the May/June print edition of Art Guide Australia or it can be read online here. The installation photo was taken by Peter Morgan, the in-house photographer at the National Art School in Sydney.
In 2019 I am starting a new project called Opening Stitches. In this project I ask people to provide a square of cloth with one or two sets of ‘opening stitches’ on it. I will then take the cloth and continue stitching in response to the stitches provided to me.
I plan to combine the collected pieces into one or more works that may be exhibited in future. All participants will be credited for their work (unless you wish to have your name withheld).
You can follow my progress on Instagram @leonieandrewsart
If you are interested in participating please contact me for mailing details.
Guildelines for joining the project
The start of two trial pieces in this series.
One of my trial pieces at 24 January 2019
Detail of my trial piece, 2019. Opening stitches provided by Alexis Yeadon and Susan Weisser.
I have been exploring some colour options for works to be included in my solo exhibition scheduled for September this year. Most of the work has been in subdued colours, but this piece calls for a bolder approach.
To those of you living on the east coast of Australia, there are two opportunities to see my work during December and January.
Firstly I am exhibiting my textile work at the Gosford Regional Gallery, along with two artists from my home town of Newcastle (NSW) Eleanor Jane Robinson and Mandy Robinson. If you can make it to the opening on Friday 4 December at 6.00pm I may see you there.
Well Worn 4 December 2015 – 13 January 2016
Leonie Andrews, Eleanor Jane Robinson
and Mandy Robinson
GOSFORD REGIONAL GALLERY, FOYER
36 Webb St, East Gosford NSW
Otherwise you can see one of my textile works that was selected into the Gold Coast Art Prize. The opening is on 5 December also at 6.00pm, but sadly I won’t be able to make the event.
Gold Coast Art Prize
5 December 2015 – 31 January 2016