July 26, 2016

Stitchy Snippets - Antique Textiles

Louise Saxton has an expert eye for antique embroidery and lace. Her artistic practice is centred around reclaiming vintage needlework to produce contemporary, textile collages and sculptures. Louise Saxton talks about the appeal of embroidery: 'Needlework is an ancient art form, beautiful as well as practical, and whether simple or complex in design it is painstakingly constructed.'

Saxton predominantly uses pins to fix the textiles and fabricate her collages and with this technique she can achieve a textile relief. This technique also echoes the traditional handwork experience and the labour involved.

Undertaking residencies in Mexico and Malaysia has broadened her insight into local artisan technique, influenced her work and also helped in increasing her great collection of needlework.

Saxton regards her artistic process as a 'silent collaboration with the anonymous original makers'. This transformation of forgotten and discarded textiles is integral to her work as it returns importance and value to the craft of needlework and showcases these precious pieces of handwork. Saxton elaborates: 'Historically, handmade embroidery and lace were as economically valuable as gold and silver... Needlework is cross-cultural, but sadly in most parts of the world today, it is in danger of disappearing.' Promoting traditional needlework and textiles within her work helps to protect the art form.

To find out more about her work and upcoming exhibitions look here.

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