Eye of the Needle: Summer 2012 Surface Design Journal

In the digital age we have become desensitized to altered images. All around us are airbrushed pictures and objects that have been transformed in unseen ways before we discover them. We lose connection with this method of manipulation as it becomes prevalent in our society, and as such we lose sight of the magic that has been created. Fortunately, the power of stitch helps redress the balance, and the application of thread to existing images still retains the ability to amaze and surprise.” Jamie Chalmers from “The Altered Image” (p.28-33)

Find related links to this issue’s profiles and features below:

Iconic Twist: Cindy Hickok


“From astonishing color palettes to Impressionist revelry to technical miracles, Cindy Hickok’s work is that of a true master. She brings forth the very best example of what can happen when a fiber artist combines a little art history with a lot of talent and then ties it all up with meticulousness and wit.”

Cindy Hickok is represented by Jane Sauer Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

Marc Dombrosky:
The State of the Republic, Writ Small

by Mary Smull

“Often weather-beaten and softened and scored by a crumpled past, these reclaimed missives appear at first glance to be simply collected and presented as art; a closer look reveals that the text and images have been painstakingly stitched into the paper, the thread carefully mimicing the written marks.”

Marc Dombrosky is represented by Platform Gallery, Seattle, WA

Making it in NYC

by Joetta Maue

“As a member
of the community of artists working with fiber that has rapidly grown in NYC in recent years, I have witnessed how graduates from esteemed fiber programs as well as self-taught artists are no longer content with craft-based exhibitions, prizes, and publications. They now strive for—and receive—more solo shows and status within the NYC gallery system.”

Todd Hensley

Emily Barletta

Elisa D’Arrigo

Rebecca Ringquist

Lyons Wier Gallery, New York

Mixed Greens Gallery, New York

Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago

Textile Art Center, New York

The Stitched Statements of Mary Ruth Smith

by Todd Turek

“In Mary Ruth Smith’s current print media-inspired series In Fashion she achieves a sophisticated union of figurative elements, geometric designs, and text that unite the abstract with more literal aspects of modern-day communication. These layered and seemingly random forms also convey very personal and often autobiographical narratives.”

Mary Ruth Smith

The Altered Image

by Jamie Chalmers

“By using stitch to explore the tension between truth and myth, Matthew Cox eases the contrast making it easier to process. The threads act as a bridge between the two states but, by way of familiarity, one that feels safe to cross. The embroideries reinforce a reminiscence of childhood when myths and stories felt very real; once again we are filled with a sense of wonder as we witness characters coming to life.”

Maurizio Anzeri is represented by Saatchi Gallery, London

Matthew Cox is represented by Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago

Wayne “Skid” Lo is represented by Hyaena Gallery, Burbank, CA

Erin Endicott’s Embroidered Histories

by J. Susan Isaacs

Endicott discusses her imagery in terms of psychic wounds as well as physical wounds. She views her works as
sutras, describing them this way: “To stitch; a thread or line that holds things together—this is the literal translation of the ancient Sanskrit word ‘sutra.’ The Healing Sutras [series] grew out of years of work examining psychological wounds (mainly my own), their origins, and how they insinuate themselves into our lives.”

Erin Endicott

Rock Hushka: A Prick of the Needle

by Alison Gates

“It was 1994, and the AIDS epidemic had reached a peak. While the disease (which Rock Hushka identifies as our “modern plague”) raged on, new medical advances were giving many a sense that the crisis was abating. Experiencing a sense of confusion, fear, and frustration as a member of the gay community —“What do we do with all our AIDS ribbons now?”—Hushka felt compelled to respond by making art.”

Rock Hushka

Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, WA

Threads of Peace in Rwanda

by Kathleen F. Malu

“No single embroidery epitomizes the work of the women’s group
Savane Rutongo better than Gacaca, a scene inspired by Rwandan tradition and reconciliation efforts in the wake of the [1994] genocide. Gacaca (pronounced ga-CHA-cha) refers to the centuries-old tradition of arbitrating and resolving village and familial disputes. Presided over by wise elders, these public trials promoted justice and closure for both victim and perpetrator in front of family and neighbors.”

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