For various reasons, I’ve been thinking about my understanding of art, how I relate it to my work and how my work may (or may not) broadcast my understanding of art to other people.
In essence, my understanding of art is that it makes you think, no matter what the medium or where it is presented.
Due to the relatively mechanical nature of hand embroidery (a blessing and a curse for the easily-distracted stitcher) I am left with plenty of head-space to fill with thoughts that I either direct into the piece when things are going well or cast around me when they’re not.
The aspect of my work that I most struggle to communicate when selling is that I’m not only hand-stitching because I enjoy it and it’s different than machine embroidery, but to give someone an object which has hours of human contact behind it signifies that you have set aside those non-returnable hours for the contemplation of the receiver’s existence.
The making of any piece, but especially a commission, means that I ponder the recipient, the giver, where I imagine the piece will live, how I hope they will speak about it to people who ask and much more. If you think intentions can travel through objects, I send all manner of good advice, good wishes and happy thoughts with each piece.
The more art I make the more I discover that I like the way it moves my thoughts outside of myself and towards other people.
So that’s the rather sneaky surprise about art, the definition is that it makes you think… but it doesn’t always say who that ‘you’ will be.