Haberdashery utilises embroidery and paint individually, alongside, and in collision with one another in order to blur the line between painting and craft. This is to examine the hierarchies of these materials both on the canvas, and within the art world.
The two materials switch between embracing traditional techniques, and mimicking each other’s form. At times this is through the use of subject matter, in which specific still life paintings are translated into embroideries. Figuration is built slowly with the thread in the same process one might approach an oil painting. At other times the thread is built in long strands to mimic the sweeping gesture of a brush mark, and the oil paint sits as stark, stitch-like strokes. Leaving areas of exposed canvas aims to further embrace this interaction, with the ground switching between a soft material ideal for craft and the primed base commonly used for painting.
Replication is an important component to this body of work. It is a way to directly connect the different mediums, and also form connections to some women whose work has paved the context I work in today. My late Grandmother Hazel Jack painted in the naturalistic style of a 1980s hobbyist artist, and the limitations imposed upon female artists of that time period is evident in her work. She filled sketchbooks and painted upon small panels with no intention of presenting these to the world, often replicating paintings she had available such as the still life vase I have further translated into embroidery. This intergenerational reference aims to both honour my Grandma's work, and highlight the passive way in which women of her time typically created art. Frances Hodgkins is also referenced, to acknowledge a painter who prevailed over the gender imbalance of the time period with her strong presence in the art world. I aim to align both women equally, in order to honour their legacies and examine the roles of painting and craft while exploring new utilisations of these materials.
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