Thursday, 23 March 2017

Feature Friday: Michelle Kingdom Embroideries

There was no going back
Where are you from? 
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I have lived there most of my life and currently reside in the suburb of
Burbank with my husband and 14 year-old daughter.
Kingdom: Life will divide us
Where do you currently practice your artwork? 
I have no formal studio and work out of my home in a space that I share with the rest of my family. Embroidery is a medium
that can be portable and does not require much space. 
Kingdom: Duties of gossamer
Are you self taught or have you completed any training? 
I am a self-taught embroiderer although my background is in fine art and I attended art school. My loves for fibre and art
ran parallel for a long time but I eventually started to merge the two, essentially drawing with thread. 
Still the sky was blue
How would you describe your artwork/process? 
The work starts with the lengthy process of formulating and developing the concept. Research and sketches are continually
refined, reworked and eventually transferred onto fabric to serve as a skeletal framework. The stitching is done with a dense,
intuitive, fluid approach and each piece stays in flux until the very end. I prefer to draw with thread rather than plot technical,
traditional embroidery stitches. Starting with a preliminary vision, I make room for experimentation and unexpected discovery
along the way. I am not interested in fulfilling a fixed idea in my head because it is the process that fascinates me. Once all of
the stitching is done, I then give a lot of thought to the title. I prefer for the viewer to create their own narrative but I do feel the
title helps complete the work and crystallizes the concept. The final steps are stretching, mounting and framing - all of which I
do as well.

What is your biggest influence/inspiration? 
Inspiration typically comes from so many places. Each piece is a synthesis of several key elements including memories,
relationships, photographs, literature, personal mythology, art history and imagination. My own personal experiences
ultimately drive the concepts. 
Preparing for flight
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far? 
There have been so many wonderful moments it’s hard to single one out. A few that stand out are getting those early shows,
selling my first piece and seeing my work in the old fashioned print media. This past year I was fortunate enough to have my
first solo show and participate in a museum exhibit. 
Fate would conspire
Where can people see your work? 
Currently my work can be seen in the exhibit "Stitched: Part 1" at Paradigm Gallery and Studios in Philadelphia, PA. Later 
in the fall I will also be participating in the show "Intimate Lines" at The Hunterdon Museum in Clinton, NJ. You can also 
catch my work in a few magazines at the moment: the French publication 'Hey!' and the American magazine 'Hi-Fructose'.
Tending mislaid burdens
The dressing room
What are you working on at the moment? 
I just keep plugging along with each new piece, and am excited for each narrative to emerge.
Time makes knots
Michelle Kingdom Embroideries

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