Visit: Matthew Harris talk at the Oxford branch of The Embroiderers’ Guild

I was very lucky to attend this talk [1] by Matthew Harris [2] as a guest of The Oxford branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild. Matthew Harris gave a fascinating talk about his work and working practice, his exploration of pattern through layering and cutting cloth. His work often represents visualizations of musical scores but is also inspired by his travels.

He uses a combination of dyeing, layering, cutting and stitching and often works from behind a piece preferring the way dyes bleed and develop after soaking through layers of cloth, creating echo’s and memories. His base cloth is usually dust cloths from builders merchants, because these take stitch and dye very well and are easy and cheap to buy.

His pieces start from many sketches and drawings that he often cuts and stitches. Turning pieces of imagery and flipping them over to create a whole new images with echo’s and memories of the original. I really loved these drawings and they stand alone as pieces of work in their own right.

From these drawing he builds up the imagery in cloth. Layering, stitching dyeing, cutting and turning as he goes. There is a huge amount of detail close up but he keeps the raw textures without tidying up imperfections and works with the unpredictability of painting dye loosely onto the cloth.

Matthew Harris has exhibited extensively and has work in collections including The Crafts Council and The Whitworth Museum and Art Gallery.