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All images © Flore Gardner, shared with permission
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Flore Gardner’s (Her)Stories Series: Vintage Photographs Embroidered with Vibrant Stitches

Flore Gardner‘s (Her)Stories series is a great way to show your photographs as unusual and attention-grabbing. Edinburgh-based artist Flore Gardner has a medical background and works in a creative field that explores the body’s untapped potential. In her work, she explores the limits of human anatomy through various techniques ranging from printmaking and ink-based drawings to mixed-media installations and fiber. She pushes the boundaries of human anatomy into absurd or revolutionary territory. Each work is centered on the main interest in drawing and employs the same methods and concepts that one may find in her sketchbooks. So if you’re looking for something different, be sure to check out this series!

The (Her)Stories series of artworks embellished with vintage black-and-white photographs from flea markets using bright stitches are likely to pique people’s interest. The photos have depth and texture thanks to the embroidery, and the colors, in contrast, really pop. The collection’s name suggests that it is primarily about women. The embroidered elements hide faces behind dense patches, give body to a subject’s body, or draw attention to their features by contrasting them with the background.

The artist’s thread drawings “modify the reality” of the photos, revealing hidden things beneath (e.g., unseen naked bodies under wedding clothes, invisible haloes, hidden thoughts) or, on the contrary, hiding certain elements (threads conceal inevitably dead figures or “ghosts”), revitalize the portraits and posed group shots with color and texture. Further, she adds:

The needle is both a weapon and a tool for healing—a photograph (or human skin) can be hurt by its treatment and simultaneously healed/recreated. This needle creates hundreds of tiny perforations in each photo, which was once a valuable thing. These with the threads transform the flat, smooth, unapproachable photographic support into a relief surface that can be felt and even read like Braille in certain conditions.

Gardner is currently working on a book project backed by Creative Scotland and a collaborative performance set to take place at the Edinburgh Fringe this August.

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What do you think?

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