The embroidery project has developed from an open call on Facebook where I invited friends and public to send on photographs of their own memories which they would like me to translate and capture into an embroidery piece. The response has been a variety of memories ranging from treasured family moments between grandchildren and grandparents, parents and their children, pets, unique places visited around the world, and friendship. In some cases I have selected small details to embroider from the photograph, for example a child’s hand on the wheel of a wheelchair or a child on a rocking horse.
The embroideries are tactile in nature and are therefore also a form of preserving photographs for the partially sighted and blind so they too can appreciate the artwork.
I have also made a selection of embroideries from my own photographs. When I travel to new places I create an embroidery which I describe as a tactile postcard. This might be a view of a landscape, architecture with myself in the image or just the view itself. I have started this project over the past year and this is also an ongoing project.
The cushions were initially made for a project based on my grandmother who went blind gradually over 20 years. Through mixed media and installation I created artwork which featured personal belongings and household items that have been adapted to adjust to everyday life and daily tasks. Displaying how the use of memory, touch and order become a way to adapt to life without sight. Other areas covered included the deterioration of sight as observed through the strength of reading glasses lenses, and change in familiar images and paintings. The loss of your own handwriting and ability to read. The use of other people to translate through description the things you can no longer see.
The cushions are based on my grandmother’s photographs of her own family. I have translated the faces of family members using embroidery only using black thread on natural coloured fabric, the texture and relief of the embroidery thread can be touched to feel the image. In this way a photograph can be translated for a viewer who is partially sighted or blind, allowing old photographs to be remembered and treasured for the future.
Photographs thanks to Fermanagh Live Arts Festival