Embroidery Adds Textured Narratives to the Subjects of Flore Gardner’s Stitched Photos


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April 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

All photos © Flore Gardner, shared with permission

With a history in medicine, Edinburgh-primarily based artist Flore Gardner fosters a innovative follow that explores the body and its untapped possible. She works in an array of mediums from printmaking and ink-centered illustrations to blended-media installations and fiber, pushing the limitations of human anatomy into the realm of the absurd or subversive. No make any difference the material, each function facilities on a main interest in drawing and makes use of the same methods and concepts that fill the internet pages of her notebooks.

A single of Gardner’s collection, titled (Her)Stories, overlays classic, black-and-white photographs mainly sourced from flea marketplaces with vivid stitches. As the name indicates, the selection focuses primarily on women, and the embroidered aspects obscure faces with dense patches, incorporate dimension to a subject’s human body, or emphasize their figures by drawing a distinction to the backdrop.

Revitalized with color and texture, the portraits and posed group pictures just take on a new narrative with the artist’s thread drawings and “modify the ‘reality’ of the shots, revealing concealed issues underneath (eg. unseen naked bodies below wedding ceremony apparel, invisible haloes, hidden ideas) or on the contrary hiding specific information (threads shroud the inevitably useless figures or ‘ghosts’).” She clarifies more:

The needle is an instrument for hurting and for healing—a photograph (or human pores and skin) can be harmed by its cure and concurrently repaired/recreated. This needle helps make hundreds of tiny holes in each individual photograph, once a important object, and these, alongside with the threads, completely transform the flat, easy, untouchable photographic assistance into a aid floor, which can be touched and even, in a particular way, read like Braille.

Gardner at present is doing the job on a publishing venture funded by Artistic Scotland and a collaborative overall performance that will be presented at Edinburgh Fringe this August.


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