Embroidery as a new black: revival of an old craft

In the craze of today fast-moving world and our modern click mentality, occupations that require time, patience and diligence have fallen out of favor. Therefore we do not often see embroidery as a common artistic technique on the modern art scene. It is certainly a quite demanding medium to work with, but as we will see  – also rewarding one.weavingEmbroidery, due to the nature of this technique, merge beautifully with different materials. Even with bread. In 2016 Slovakian artist Terezia Krnacova presented a mixed media project “Everyday Bread”, where each day was represented by a slice of bread with incorporated embroidery of different design. The seventh slice remained plain in order to honor the tradition of the Sabbath, the one day that supposed to bee free of work and dedicated to worship and rest in Christianity and Judaism. Unique compilation between two seemingly irrelevant materials shows the vast potential of the embroidery as a contemporary artistic tool compatible with almost anything.


Embroidery also serves as a powerful intertextual medium. Besides the ability to simply hold together two pieces of fabric, it can actually connect different historical periods. Mana Morimoto uses this concept in her time-travelling works, intervening old photographs and illustrations with her ubiquitous stitching. This postmodern twist turns metamodern from time to time as she tambours images that depict other fiber-related processes. It also shows a digital potential of a medium, creating stunning GIFs and animated pieces. Old craft revives 2-d imagery bringing a new light to the usual art form.newton-minpaintings-minHowever, embroidery can embrace not only history, but also our contemporary realities. Russian-based artist Lisa Smirnova explores the possibilities of this medium in her illustrative and fashion-related works. She uses stitches as a substitute for inks or pencils, thus creating special visual works that highly resemble illustrations. Her interest ranges from modern tattooed hipsters to artistically interpreted portraits of famous people, or animalistic motives.Smirnova_01-min Smirnova_07-min

Her work also includes embroidery on clothes which resonates with the latest fashion trends; particularly interesting is her collaboration with designer Olya Glagoleva in a fashion line that is decorated with carefully embroidered paint splashes. Outstanding skill mixed with creative thinking turns into a perfect execution of fresh ideas.Olya_03-min

tumblr_o13u1rGV6J1rselyro9_1280-minAs an outcome we have a newly reinvented artistic technique that has yet to reveal its true potential.