Embroidery Artists Blend Traditional and Contemporary

Textile Artistic Expression
24th September 2018

Using art as a means of creative expression, several contemporary artists are breaking down barriers by melding new ideas with traditional embroidery techniques. Here are six artists who combine artistic mediums to develop interesting pieces that provoke emotion and discussion.

Kirsty Whitlock

Kirsty Whitlock uses her art to encourage her followers to recycle. By combining reused materials, such as newspapers, bags, and discarded items with embroidery, Whitlock’s message of social change reverberates throughout her artwork.

Debbie Smyth

Well-known for stitch art, Debbie Smyth stretches thread between plotting pins to create works that combine illustration and embroidery. The pieces are acutely precise and beautiful. For one work of art that hangs on a wall in a London lounge, Smyth uses black pins and black wire to show the flight patterns in the city during a 24-hour period. It’s a perfect example of the artist’s unique creativity in expression.

The images in newspapers and magazines often form the base of Lauren DiCioccio’s work. The imaginative art evokes nostalgia. Using fabric to showcase man’s relationship to common objects, the artist hopes to cause emotional responses to her work. In some cases, she uses embroidery as an example of the human experience.

Using nature as both an inspiration and source of materials, minimalist Kazahito Takadoi focuses on framing nature in contemporary settings. Using pieces like dried leaves and twigs from his garden, Takadoi stitches, ties and weaves patterns that promote the natural elements while highlighting lights, colors, and shadows.

After retiring from her career as an attorney, Lynn Skordal began focusing on her love of art. The artist creates contemporary pieces by using embroidery and collages to create interesting pieces for books, exhibitions, and art shows.

Meredith Woolnough uses embroidery to create freeform artistic works that she preserves in resin. Inspired by the natural world, Woolnough’s art is created with sophisticated patterns of fabrics, corals, and plants. Her intricate embroidery stitches capture the delicate beauty of nature.

The delicate embroidery stitch is one element that these artists use to showcase nature, social issues, and items of historical significance in making creative works. By embracing textile design’s creativity, artists have found unique, contemporary ways to incorporate traditional techniques.