I’ve posted this image before, but now the peanuts are embroidered and it’s ‘finished’. The original ‘Snickers’ chocolate bar given my typical twisted treatment. Executed in embroidery with metallic threads, appliqued white PVC and silk-shaded peanuts.
I’ve been contemplating: Just why is the medium of embroidery so important to these works? (Beyond the obvious, that stitch is ‘my medium’ and the one I as an artist feel most competent in expressing myself visually with.) The process of embroidery – or certainly, my engagement with it at least – is quite an obsessive relationship. I am a perfectionist driven towards reproducing detail with an almost insatiable sense of attention. My ‘making’ is a slow process at times, but one which really enables me to interact with my subject matter: to ‘get under its skin’ via the many hours of intense interaction I spend at the embroidery frame. To have produced this image in another medium – say, simply re-printing my pun (as sketched in the image above) – would have been to have experienced only a brief personal involvement with the production of the piece. This series was born out of a condition that irrationally and unconditionally stole my undivided attention from the rest of ‘real life’: it seems only fitting that my response to it is, therefore, equally ‘engaging’.
However, by the inevitable process of time I dedicate to my making process, I am forced to engage. To think, to conemplate, to reflect not only on each and every stitch I work but on the subject matter as a whole. This echoes the obsession of an eating disorder: yet for the first time in ten years, this contemplation is a willing decision on my behalf, an instrument of self-empowerment.
I do not wish for my ”issues” to define me as an artist. But if a work of art can be influenced by these issues, turning them from a purely destructive entity into something constructive, I am satisfied with the outcome.