Thank you to the Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust for commissioning this project. The brief was to produce an A3 artwork inspired by Anne Hathaway’s Cottage gardens.
I chose to create an embroidery by ‘drawing with thread’ using a domestic sewing machine on water-soluble fabric. My concept was to visit the garden regularly between March and May, creating an embroidery of the plants after each visit. The embroidery would grow naturally with the garden.
Unfortunately, the site was closed in March because of the COVID-19 lockdown. The Birthplace Trust kindly sent photographs of the garden in full bloom from previous years for me to use. I chose elements from each of the photographs and created the garden using the layering technique as I originally planned.
This project was really exciting to work on as it allowed me to explore using water-soluble fabric on a larger scale than I had previously used. It was magical watching the fabric dissolve as the finished embroidery emerged in water. The anticipation of seeing what the finished design will look like when sections of the fabric disappear was exciting. The embroidered sections transformed from something solid to a delicate connection of threads similar to that of lace.