There's probably only so much I can say about contemporary embroidery before I start repeating myself (well, maybe), so in stead I'm asking some fine folks from the Pool about their take on it. First up is Guerilla Embroidery; let's see what she has to say:
How do you define contemporary embroidery?
Any form of artwork/craft which uses the traditional skills of embroidery in a modern context. This could be subject matter, or how the stitches themselves are used.
What perceptions of embroidery do you meet? Are they changing?
It always surprises people when I tell them I have an embroidery degree! I always have to convince them it is a proper BA(Honours) course - but in fact, it was some of the most gruelling 3 years of my life. They really put you through your paces! Many people still can't accept 'textiles' in any form as a serious art form - embroidery especially has always been seen as a 'craft' rather than 'art' which makes it even harder to be taken seriously. People's reactions are usually of surprise, but I especially like the reactions of older people whose idea of embroidery is so very different to the things that I make! They find it hard to believe I have used a sewing machine to 'draw'.
Why do we need embroidery?
Textiles are woven into the fabric of society (excuse the pun!) - I think we need embroidery to make that fabric more interesting, and to imbue it with meaning.