Journeys in a Suitcase

My latest commission is underway in the studio so I thought I would share some of my progress with you. Journeys in a Suitcase is part of the 7th annual Love Arts Leeds festival which takes place next month.

The brief for the commission is very open:

To produce artwork within a vintage suitcase that depicts your response to our festival theme of Journeys. Love Arts Festival celebrates the links between creativity and mental well-being, so the work also needs to relate to this theme.

My suitcase will contain a series of embroidered pieces which reflect on a journey around the coastline from Whitby to Saltburn. The suitcase has also travelled this route with me as I visit the beaches and headland.

Suitcase at Runswick Bay
Suitcase at Runswick Bay

From my charity shop visits for previous projects like Time & Tide, I have collected old Ordnance Survey Maps of the coastline. From these maps I have traced my route along the headland.

Traced Coastline
Traced Coastline

This line will be stitched on fabric in red thread and then attached to the inside of the suitcase. I’m using a method that I was taught by a member of the Embroiderers Guild, tacking a paper template to the fabric and then using that line as a guide. When the line is completed the tacking stitches and template are removed. This method works well for wool fabrics that don’t work with quilting pens and pencils.

Stitching in Progress
Stitching in Progress

My Twitter and Instagram feed has lots of Converse Selfies, where I take pictures of my feet in various locations so it seems only right to include Converse in my piece. I have been working on a footprint in the studio this week.

Converse Print
Converse Print in Progress

As my journey is about the coast I am including some natural elements, this stitched rock pool will sit in the bottom section of the suitcase.

Rock Pool Embroidery
Rock Pool Embroidery

There are still lots of things to work on over the next few weeks but you won’t have to wait long until the exhibition. The work will be exhibited at a pop-up event on Saturday 14 October outside Leeds Art Gallery which re-opens that day.

Pop-Up Postcard
Pop-Up Postcard

 

 

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