Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Falling in Love with Embroidered Art

In the past I never considered embroidery as an art form. My limited experience of it was after school clubs in primary school and the beautiful baby books and mementos my mum created for us when we were young. It was something associated with love and the homemade.

At work as a gallery intern part of my role is researching emerging artists and inviting them to exhibit with us, often with exhibitions revolving around a set theme and as a group show. While looking for our upcoming Contemporary Art exhibit I stumbled upon embroidery artist Danielle Clough and she changed my perception completely. 

(Image rights are owned by Danielle Clough)

Her work was so striking, particularly her series 'What a Racket'. Sculptural pieces using tennis rackets as a canvas, she embroidered flowers into the net. For me this revolutionised the medium. Something that seemed so A2 and flat in my mind had this whole new lease of life. It became a standalone entity. While it could be easily described as mixed media due to the use of rackets, much of her work uses a more traditional canvas or framing. It really made me consider embroidery as an art form and be much more receptive to those I later found in my research and really appreciate the skill and artistic communication rather than see it as purely a nostalgic item.   

She's also done a hummingbird piece which I'm so in love with!

(Image rights are owned by Danielle Clough)
Check out her:

Since this discovery I've happened across a handful of other embroiders that I've felt inspired by. They didn't have the same ground breaking revelation for me, but they stood out for individual reasons. Their work appealed to me, my interests, history and held certain aesthetics. For that reason I feel they too deserve a place in this post. 

(Image rights are owned by Adrianna Velazco)
Illustrator & Digital Designer - Adrianna Velazco 

(Image rights are owned by Chloe Giordano)
Illustrator & Book lover
Chloe Giordano 

Sunday, 7 February 2016


"A word about personal journals and records: We urge every person in the Church to keep a diary or journal from youth up, all through his life. 

Would every family, as they now hold their home evenings, train their children from young childhood to keep a journal of the important activities of their lives, and certainly when they begin to leave home for schooling and missions?" - The Foundations of Righteousness by Spencer W. Kimball (October 1977 General Conference)

Growing up my mum always told me to write a journal and for most of my life I was pretty sceptical, I felt that my days weren't interesting enough or my thoughts too secret. I thought a journal was a weakness. I believed that I had to write an accurate record of every little thing no matter how mundane that happened in my day and that it had to be done either every day or the same day every week. Although I've managed to find some early journals I wrote when I was around 6 or 7 and one from when I was 13, I hadn't kept many since. In part, I was afraid and didn't really understand what journals are about.    

While at university I ended up buying a beautiful little brown notebook from the temple book store with a little embossed bee illustration on the front along with a quote from Gordon B Hinckley about finding happiness along the journey. It would easily fit in my bag as it was only A5 in size and ended up coming with me to church. I found that making notes in lessons really helped me to concentrate and get more excited about the gospel and in turn I would study my scriptures more on my own and make further notes! This book became my study journal. Not only was I recording doctrine or topics I was learning but my own thoughts and feelings and I still refer to it now. 

On a visit to London I discovered the store Tiger which sells an array of random bits and bobs really cheaply including stationary, as it is a Danish brand the store layout and branding is very similar to IKEA and a really fascinating experience. I bought another brown notebook but while the other one was a plastic kind of leather, this looked like recycled brown paper and a perfect base for customisation. 

This book ended up recording much of my feelings and study when I was making the incredibly difficult mission decision and my journey through engagement, preparing for the temple and getting married! I had no idea when I bought the book that these things would happen and I'm so grateful to have a record of them. 

For my birthday I was given such a thoughtful gift of an Ohh Deer notebook, while I had been on their website a few times and admired them in Urban Outfitters I probably wouldn't have bought one myself due to the price. So I was so happy to receive this gift! The design was so perfect for me!! Watercolour pastel colours, typography and unicorns!!!! Leanne knows me well. :D I've started this one a few weeks ago and it's wonderful! I'm recording my feelings and experiences about living in London and trying to kick start our graduate careers. Sorting life out after university is such a mission. It is character building for sure. Which roughly translates to = very hard and takes a long time :'). But I know it will only get better an more exciting!!

Different ways of journalling work for different people. Some enjoy scrap booking or project life, blogging, vlogging or simply writing down in a book. You just need to find what works for you. It's so precious to be able to record such momentous moments and life. But we don't need to wait for big things to happen to make it worth while to keep a record. 

"The little things? The little moments? - They aren't little." Jon Kabat-Zinn

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Rebecca Chaperon's Icebergs & Crystals \\ Curated

I have such a thing for geometric shapes and pastels. It's incredibly difficult to capture clear material in paintings, especially something so smooth with angular facets and I think that Chaperon has done it perfectly! I myself tried in during my A Level Art studies and used much darker blue tones. Her colour pallet is gorgeous and paired with the mid air composition of the object implies a sense of weightlessness and balance. 

Her works expands beyond geometry into much darker themes and inner thoughts, but I felt more drawn towards the simple and lighter parts of her practice. I first discovered her crystal series through pinterest and after looking through her website I found her iceberg series. Very similar to the crystals, the form naturally transitions into a scenic landscape and almost lends itself to galaxy themes.  
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