Wednesday 21 September 2016


I've been stitching for months! In June I posted about the second embroidery in the series of four, feeling that the butterfly fabric had made the piece too cheerful. This feeling persisted while working on the third embroidery and when finished I restitched the second onto a plain handkerchief and was happy with the result.

I'm currently working on the fourth and final stitched drawing and aim to finish on the last day in September. This, as yet untitled series is to be box framed in oak and exhibited at the We Are Many Conference for childless-by-circumstance woman in Solihull 29th-30th October. Here is the text that accompanies the work: 

Landscape, family history and slow textile process meet within Karen’s practice. Showing at the We Are Many Conference is a new body of work, hand sewn handkerchiefs that belonged to her Auntie Jessie, some stained with use, all lovingly washed and ironed. The woodlands depicted are far from suburbia in parts of Derbyshire much walked by the artist, unpeopled sites with clear and hidden pathways, places between places where girls in red cloaks could encounter the wolf. 

For Karen these stitched drawings depict a particular solitude, a particular grief: grief for an imagined family. Alone and unsure of the path how do we move forward? What awaits beyond the woodlands edge? Can we see the wood for the trees? Karen takes her place alongside women who walk solo, who claim the rocky path, the quiet woods as theirs. Striding forward with reserves of inner strength, resourcefulness, sensitivity and intelligence while baring witness to the beauty in self and beyond. 

Karen lives in London and has an MA from Goldsmiths College, The University of London. Within her practice she is drawn to deepening meaning and value to overlooked textiles and textile processes, usually within forlorn sites: the graveyard, the underpass, the suburban woodland.

 Second attempt on the second embroidery - happy with this one

Fourth and final embroidery in the (as yet) untitled series