This stitch work is part of a project begun during lockdown 2020. During isolation from people I loved, I was using selfies to see myself, and to be seen with my significant connections. The selfies may mark a pause, such as a birthday, or they may represent a period of loss or grief. Some capture a time I felt vulnerable, distressed or particularly distant, I see the images as a connecting device in my relationships with others, but also vital in understanding myself.
Countering ideas commonly associated with selfies as being superficial and momentary, the process of drawing and embroidering slows the process and creates a permanent object from a fleeting digital image. I liken the embroideries to drawings, or pages of a journal which form a series of self portraits.
More on Changing Threads 2022 exhibition here, Changing Threads Contemporary Textile Fibre Art Award.
The work used more than 8700 metres of black embroidery thread, and I stitched it over the course of two months. The textile is dyed using avocado stones and skins, and is also a long process involving first creating the dye bath in pots, then steeping the cloth in pots over a 24 – 48 hour period, rinsed and air dried.
More on the beginnings of this project can be found here, where I wrote about the first Lockdown portraits.