Friday, August 10, 2012
Summer reading: New Potatoes, Tilleke Schwarz
Her contemporary samplers are fast forward narratives. Her subject is the complexity and chaos of the digital information glut, which streams toward us at internet speed. Tilleke slowly embroiders, texts and images that catch her attention, plucked from the stream, slowing the hyper speed to a stand still, using the antique and ordinary art form of the stitched sampler. On her cloths, sometimes hand dyed, she layers images from her everyday life, in hoopless, embroidered stitches: her cat, a toilet, her new washing machine, and people, with internet text fragments, creating an appealing visual diary of personal and world wide interconnection, which is the new normal.
The opposite of rote work, Tilleke's embroideries are free asymmetries, looping couched lines, tangled line, a little wild, and beautiful. They are exciting and liberating. She also writes about how she creates the embroideries, her process and composition, and the difficulty of working as a textile artist, a woman, creating art with a needle. Textile art, and women artists particularly, have always struggled for recognition.
Tilleke's work has been recognized, exhibited in European exhibits, and galleries, and published in many books and magazines. ( I first read about her in an article in the beautiful textiles magazine, Selvedge).
Her first book, Mark Making, a cross stitch and embroidery thriller, has long been out of print, but her second book, New Potatoes, is every bit as inspiring. I have been selling it here in my store, and can ship copies, if anyone would like to have one. The books are paper covers, each signed by Tilleke.
Book+ shipping in the US, $30. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like me to send you one.