über embroiderers : : Shaun Kardinal

Shaun Kardinal / Many Moons, hand-embroidered catalog pages

I’m trying to keep up a sort of regular ‘feature’ on über embroiderers on The Smallest Forest: These are the big kids, the crème de la crème, the leet of needle and thread…that runts like me long to play with, but will never even exist in the same universe with…

Not necessarily technical virtuosos or professional embroiderers, but artists who do strange, new and wonderfully unusual things with embroidery…creativity, concept, media, message. Just…different, somehow.

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Getting a kick out of Shaun Kardinal’s embroidered + collaged pieces…the clean, geometrical lines of his shapes and stitching contrast strikingly against the vintage postcards in muted colors of textbook landscapes and manmade structures in washed-out stillness.

Something about the juxtaposition makes me think of the planet viewed through alien eyes, or what the watercolours by alien tourists would look like. Vaguely familiar, and yet…disturbing. Inhuman, somehow. A mesh or grid hanging hugely over the scene like a web of laserlight coordinates for landing UFOs. Must be all that B-grade sci-fi in my youth…

But they’re compelling and delightful, anyway! The small size of postcards must make these works feel very precious.

The recent stitching-on-paper trend has been given a refreshingly (do I dare to say this?) masculine feel in Shaun’s pieces…those regular, precise, symmetrical, minimalist lines are almost industrial, no? I like it. I like his hard-edged, novel approach to working with needle and thread.

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Just as an aside, I’m so intrigued by this whole working with paper thing…I’ve a hundred ideas for it, myself, and nothing would be easier to do, but at the moment they are still heavily influenced by what others have done. So I am leaving them to sit on their own for a while, I want to see whether something grows organically from it all that will contribute to the conversation, not just mimick someone else.
Shaun Kardinal / Embroidery

via Shaun Kardinal

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