Embroidery is in fashion. There are tons of instagram accounts showing cute embroidery hoops filled with kittens and flowers. Nothing wrong with that. I like cute; it's a safe option.
But it's not the only option. There is a vibrant community of contemporary embroidery artists doing very exciting work right now. One of my favorites, Barbara van de Wiel embroiders with carrot peels! And there is my friend Miles Payne (@uuuglyfaces) who mixes oil sharpies with embroidery. And Amy Meissner who sets the textile world on fire from her home in Alaska. Her work is like nothing I've ever seen.
Art is never safe but it's thrilling and interesting. It forces us to look at the world through someone else's eyes. That's a very rare thing in these times when most of us stick to our respective corners.
"Safe", shown here, is an embroidered collage I completed this summer. It's part of a series about people who don't look like me, dress like me, think like me or worship like me. In doing so, I imagined who these people are, what they might be thinking about, what they might see in me or whether they might see me at all and what that might mean.
"Safe" wasn't easy to do. It wasn't safe at all, which was the point. And the thrill of it.