The Profile: Subversive Stitch Artists

| Mar 2, 2019

Words by: Anjana Janardhan

Following our visit to the exhibition Subversive Stitch at TJ Boulting, we choose five of our favourite artists from the show whose work can be seen in exhibitions in the UK and beyond in 2019:


Charlotte Edey

After studying at the Chelsea College of Art, Edey worked as a graphic designer before turning to illustration. Often exploring the idea of space, Edey’s surreal illustrations draw upon themes of modernist architecture, afro futurism and femininity and are rich with symbolism. Rendered in pencil, pen and watercolour, Edey translates these into sublime prints, tapestries and ceramics.


Celia Pym

Artist and teacher Celia Pym studied sculpture at Harvard University and gained a degree in constructed textiles at the Royal College of Art. Following her studies, she then trained as a nurse, returning to textiles in 2017 when she became a finalist at both the Women’s Hour Craft Prize and Loewe Craft Prize that year. Fascinated by the stories behind clothing, Pym uses the act of darning to open up conversations about personal histories and celebrates the imperfections resulting from damage with visible repairs. In 2017 Pym participated in Maps of Wear and Tear: The Art of Darning at V&A where for four days she invited members of the public to bring in worn clothing to be mended.

Celia’s work is currently showing in Motive/Motif: Artists commemorate the Suffragettes at Vestry House Museum.


Gillian Wearing

Former Turner Prize winner, Gillian Wearing is a conceptual artist working primarily in photography and video. In 2017 Wearing was commissioned by the Mayor of London to create a statue of the Suffragist leader Dame Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square. The bronze statue of Fawcett depicted carrying a banner reading ‘Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere’ was unveiled on 24th April 2018 on the centennial of the Representation of People Act that gave some women over the age of 30 the right to vote. It was notably not only the first statue of a woman to be erected in Parliament Square but the first to have been designed by a female artist.

Gillian’s exhibition The Courage Calls To Courage Everywhere: The Making of the Millicent Fawcett Statue for Parliament Square is now showing at Firstsite in Colchester.


Marianne Thoermer

Born in Germany, Thoermer studied at the Berlin Weissensee School of Art and Chelsea School of Art and Design before graduating from the Royal Academy in 2018. Her practice spans monotypes, paintings, ceramics and installations and Thoermer often uses a 70s knotting technique to create her distinctively colourful and tactile pieces.

Marianne’s work can be seen in Discoveries, a group show currently on at Fiumano Clase in London.


Hrafnhildur Arnardottir / Shoplifter

Born in Reykjavik, Hrafnhildur Arnardottir’s tactile sculptures and installations explore themes of intimacy, humour and the power of human touch. Her work often encourages interaction and awaken a sense of playfulness in their audience. Employing vast quantities of synthetic hair in vibrant colours, Arnardottir (or Shoplifter as she is also known) creates everything from braided hair sculptures to vast and dramatic built environments; and has collaborated with fellow Icelandic artists and designers including Björk and ThreeAsFour.

Hrafnhildur will represent Iceland at the Venice Biennale 2019.

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