As we continue a look into our Team within the world of David Stark Design and Production, our next guest blogger, Heather Rook, is our talented Finance and Operations Manager. It's not all numbers and logistics for the math guru who has been toiling away at her own embroidery projects. Below, she articulates her creative inspiration with a look at some of Brooklyn’s most innovative embroidery and needlecraft artists.
I’ve recently taken an interest in embroidery and needlework art - the intricacy of the technique and the texture of the work is so intriguing. There are some incredibly creative artists that are using this traditional medium to create innovative and inspiring pieces. Here are a few of my recent favorites!
Iviva Olenick is a Brooklyn-based artist who focuses on narrative embroidery. Her recent work incorporates Twitter “poetry”, as she embroiders 140-character thoughts both from herself and from her audience. Many of these poems are collected at @EmbroideryPoems and @IvivaOlenick.
Mauve sky for morning run. #skybleedingintoBrooklyn. Embroidery and watercolor on fabric. 2.25″ x 4.5″. 2013.
Restless Leg Syndrome. @SpencerMadsen. 2013. Embroidery on fabric. Text by Spencer Madsen, appropriated from poetry reading (Sorry House).
Iviva’s use of audience interaction began with The Brooklyn Love Exchange, a collection of pieces illustrating tales of romance in Brooklyn. Iviva collected love stories from across the borough and interpreted them into delicate yet powerful vignettes, using the active thread drawings to evoke the emotions of each story.
Iviva Olenick, Williamsburg Hug, 2011. Part of the Brooklyn Love Exchange, sponsored by the Greater NY Arts Development Fund of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).
Iviva Olenick, Cyclone (also Coney Island, where dreams come true). 2011. Part of the Brooklyn Love Exchange. Embroidery and watercolor on fabric. 8.75” x 6".
Iviva Olenick, Brooklyn Love Map. Embroidery on antique textile. 42x42". 2011. Part of the BAC-sponsored Brooklyn Love Exchange.
Iviva’s work can be seen in person at several places around Brooklyn at several places, including my favorite place for beer floats, 61 Local.
Another inspiring fiber artist is Joetta Maue, who creates beautifully textured snapshots of daily life with embroidery on re-appropriated materials. In the works below, the linens are such important elements - they bring each scene to life and almost bring an animation to the needlework.
Joetta Maue, in bed… , hand embroidered, appliquéd, and painted re-appropriated linen, 30” x 30”.
Joetta Maue, waking with you, hand embroidered, appliquéd, and painted re-appropriated linen, and queen size bed, 60” x 80” x 15”.
Joetta’s work has recently been on view at the Self/Fabricated show at The Art Complex Museum and the Three Women Sewing show at P339 in Williamsburg. Joetta also curates exhibits featuring local fiber artists. Her latest curated exhibit is Down to Sleep, which opens March 1st at the Essex Art Center in Lawrence, MA.
Sarah Greaves is a mixed media artist based in Manchester. She uses embroidery to create graffiti on everyday objects, translating the traditional practice of hand sewing to unexpected (and some unbelievable!) locations. The embroidered words almost vandalize the objects force the viewer to think outside the hoop.
Sarah Greaves, Plug Hole, embroidery on metal.
Sarah Greaves, The End, embroidery on door
Sarah’s work was most recently on view at the Armenian Institute’s event Salon Mashup – Displacement + Regeneration at the Shorditch Town Hall in London.
These are just a few of the many, many inspiring embroidery and needlecraft fiber artists out there. The numbers are growing quickly- maybe you’ll be the next to pick up a needle and give it a try?