Tuesday, March 20, 2018

ARTIST: Lidija Seferović

The designer and artist Lidija Seferović who is renowned for eclectic designer scarves and textile art on silk.

Born and raised in Dubrovnik, Croatia, Lidija Seferović expresses her creativity through paintings on silk in the form of eclectic designer scarves and textile art - everything is hand-drawn by Lidija in her London studio.

Having always enjoyed drawing and art, even in an abstract sense, Lidija enrolled at the Luka Sorkočević Art School of Dubrovnik before embracing her love of fashion at the State School of Fashion Design in Stuttgart, Germany.

Then moving to London, Lidija continued her studies at the London College of Fashion where she received a BA in Womenswear, after which she pursued a career in fashion, in which she has designed, illustrated and embroidered for the likes of Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Bruce Oldfield, and Ralph & Russo.

Classically trained in portraiture, figure drawing and sculpture, both Lidija's designer scarves and textile art embrace a variety of medium techniques (oil, aquarelle, pencil) to project peculiar yet lively, imaginative stories onto stretched silk canvas.

Mainly, Lidija aims to create items that not only work as incredibly stylish fashion items but also as pieces of art suitable for display alone, in their own right.

As well as committing herself to at least one collection of designer scarves a year, Lidija creates bespoke items, including designer scarves and pocket squares, and textile art for private clients.

Discover more of Lidija Seferović's work via her website: http://lidijaseferovic.com/

Limited edition artwork stretched on wooden battens is also available via Saatchi Art at: https://www.saatchiart.com/lidijaseferovic

Thursday, October 05, 2017


Psst; do you want to know a secret?

First, you'll have to tell us yours!

According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the average person keeps a whopping 13 secrets and five secrets that they have never told to another living soul!

Everyone knows that keeping things in is bad for us, so how do you find a safe and therapeutic way to let it go?

Well, you can sing about it, talk about it, write a letter and freeze it, write a poem and burn it, or shout your secret to the wind and let it carry your words off scattered in the breeze. 

Or you can give it to us: stitch your secret and send it to us for safe keeping.  Trivial, funny or deadly serious, it matters not.

Letting a secret go in a safe place allows you to forgive yourself and let the past go.  Sharing a secret is an act of self-love.

We are the Profanity Embroidery Group of Whitstable, Kent and you are invited to stitch your secret (profanity free) and make it part of an American style crazy quilt. 

The Secrets Quilt is a social media-generated art quilt celebrating therapeutic stitching. The aim is to excite people to stitch and feel the benefit of collaborative creativity.  We hope that by taking time to relax and unwind, whilst unburdening themselves, people will feel happier.

Feedback has already showed this is happening.  One stitcher, recovering from breast cancer told us, 'it has given me something quiet and soothing to do amongst all the annoying bits of life.'

Another stitcher said, 'while my depression not something I keep secret, I definitely don't acknowledge it as much as I should, especially to myself. So this secret is actually about me facing up to my challenges and learning to treat myself more kindly when I am having a bad time.'

Another said of her secret, 'it’s funny but since stitching this secret I feel empowered to be braver and 'come out' to my friends instead of saying nothing.'

We are inviting people to stitch their secrets on fabric no bigger than an iPad and send it to us by December 31 2017.  The secrets will be transformed into a quilt for national display in 2018.

The process is anonymous and anyone can contribute. All are welcome to take part in this project, beginners as well as experienced individuals.

Find out everything you need to know at:

Instagram @lovesecretsand

More information contact:

Bridget Carpenter bridgetmcarpenter@gmail.com

Thursday, September 21, 2017


Tracy Chevalier joins forces with charity to help prisoners build their self-esteem and hope

“It was a challenge. I had just joined Fine Cell Work. Caroline, the volunteer teacher, asked me to do a square for the quilt and explained what it was about. She said what do you guys dream about when in prison. I said to be honest I don’t dream any more. I haven’t dreamed for years. To me prison is all about madness and chaos and tattoos. Caroline saw my tattoos and said we haven’t got one of those on the quilt. To me tattoos and people are very similar. It tells a story of a time and a place, it’s a permanent marker. It’s like me on this earth. ”Prisoner partaking in the Sleep Quilt project

“Prisoners may initially agree to work with Fine Cell Work because they will be paid, but most of them get far more out of the experience than money … Many inmates suffer from low self-esteem. They have never made anything constructive or beautiful before, and have never been praised. Doing so is like watering a dried-out plant and seeing it come back to life.”Tracy Chevalier

The Sleep Quilt is unlike any other quilt you will have seen. Commissioned by Tracy Chevalier, it is entirely stitched and quilted by prisoners in the UK.

Each of the 63 squares explores what sleep means for them. A moment of escape for some, for others a dark return to all they most regret in life, sleep has a great significance in jail that is only strengthened by the difficulty of finding it in the relentlessly noisy, hot and cramped environment.

By turns poignant, witty, light-hearted and tragic, The Sleep Quilt shines a light on lives that few outside can imagine. An essay by Tracy Chevalier and an Introduction by Katy Emck, Director of Fine Cell Work, the charity that made the quilt possible, as well as many quotations from the people who have embroidered the 63 patches, frame this remarkable work launched by Pallas Athene Books on 31st October.

Each square, printed in full colour, appears on one page so that readers can fully appreciate both the outstanding craftsmanship required (often the fruit of weeks of patient dedication on the prisoners’ part) and the meaning conveyed by the artwork.

All royalties from the sales of the book will go to Fine Cell Work.

“The word ‘sleep’ conjures up memories of when I put my children to bed. ‘Wynken, Blynken, and Nod’ was a favourite bedtime story that I read to them frequently. My sleep quilt tells this story of three children who go fishing for stars in a wooden shoe.”

“I have always suffered with insomnia and often had to resort to using an eye mask… The sleeping woman represents me and my dream – love of the outside, the beach, owning a beach hut and a vintage VW camper van to drive around in and be a free spirit once again.”

“Sleep in prison can be sporadic. It is usually interrupted by thoughts of the past, maybe good ones but also regrets. Thoughts about friends, family and loved ones. Hopes and aspirations for the future. In designing my block I have taken my sleep thoughts and represented them as four hearts, each standing for a family member and their children, and also a close friend. The buttons inside the hearts represent the family members. Across the rest of the design is a scattering of buttons. The smaller ones represent dreams, aspirations and past happy thoughts and events. The large buttons represent the things in life that make it hard to achieve positive goals. However, these buttons can be broken and shattered into smaller particles, given time and the right direction in life.”
About Tracy Chevalier: An American-British novelist, best known for The Girl with the Pearl Earring, her interest in quilting was sparked by her research for a novel, The Last Runaway, and she is now a committed quilter. When the novel was published in 2013, she was contacted by Danson House, a Grade I Listed Palladian Villa in South East London, to curate a quilt show which she decided to call What We Do in Bed. At the same time, she was contacted by ‘Fine Cell Work’ to come and talk about her book to a group of prisoners. This experience made such a strong impression on her that she decided to commission a quilt from the prisoners for her show. It would be called The Sleep Quilt and prisoners were asked to express their feelings about sleep, either in images or words or both.

About Fine Cell Work: a charity and social enterprise that runs rehabilitation projects in thirty British prisons by training prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework, undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells, to foster hope, discipline and self-belief.

“I pondered the necessity of prisoners having something worthwhile to do during their long hours of lonely idleness. I wanted that work to be creative, enjoyable, worthwhile and saleable. I was determined that the work should be a professional standard, no whiff of charitable acceptance about it, and should be something of which its creator could be proud and our future buyers wish to own. I wanted the prisoner on release to have as much money as he or she had earned.” Lady Anne Tree, Founder of Fine Cell Work

“As an officer you have to wear two hats. It's a bit of a split personality. With Fine Cell Work you suddenly realise you're a human being and not just a uniform. Prisoners come and talk to you and realise you're a human being too. I am doing something for a worthwhile charity and possibly giving inmates who have an entrenched view of ‘The System’ a different angle to consider”. Officer, HMP Wandsworth

The Sleep Quilt, a collaboration between Tracy Chevalier and charity ‘Fine Cell Work’

Published by Pallas Athene Books

Hardback; 80 colour photographs; 145 x 145 mm 240pp; £14.99

ISBN: 978 1 84368 146 5

A Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign has been started, through which the publisher is planning to fund at least part of the books’ printing (all funds raised via Kickstarter will go towards the book and to the charity itself). Kickstarter is a website allowing people to raise money for arts-based projects.

The Sleep Quilt’s Kickstarter initiative ends mid-November. The link is: http://bit.ly/TheSleepQuiltKickstarter

Sunday, September 03, 2017


Black Eye Gallery is pleased to announce the September 2017 exhibition:
WABI- SABI by Damien Drew.

The Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi is an appreciation of a transient and understated beauty in the modest, imperfect, ephemeral or decayed. Drew’s exhibition expresses this notion through his perspective of modern day Japan.

Japan has one of the world’s largest economies and a population that is shrinking due to low birthrates. With employment opportunities predominantly found in large urban centres there has been a marked decline in rural regions. Drew’s images seek to document that which is temporary and to celebrate its beauty in turn. The viewer is invited to consider details and qualities in paired scenes that may be inconspicuous, congruent or contrasting. In a world that is increasingly homogenised through global retail chains, Drew carefully observes
the melancholy beauty of the many towns and villages that have now become neglected.

“We do not dislike everything that shines, but we do prefer a pensive lustre to a shallow brilliance, a murky light that, whether in a stone or an artefact, bespeaks a sheen of antiquity. We love things that bear the marks of grime, soot, and weather, and we love the colours and the sheen that call to mind the past that made them.”

- From Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, ‘In Praise of Shadows’ 1933

Damien Drew is also an award-winning Art Director and Production Designer whose feature film credits include Alien Covenant, Superman Returns, Star Wars, The Great Gatsby and The Matrix films.

Exhibition details – September 5 – 24, 2017
Opening night- Friday September 8, 6-8pm

Mandatory credit line:
From WABI-SABI by Damien Drew, courtesy of Black Eye Gallery.

For inquiries, images and interviews with the artists please contact
Kath Wasiel 0411 806 958 kath@blackeyegallery.com.au

3/138 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst 2010 02 8084 7541 blackeyegallery.com.au Tues-Sun 10am- 6pm

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Black Eye Gallery is pleased to announce the August 2017 exhibition
Liminal by Armando Chant

Liminal builds an interest with the potential for engagement that exists with the relationship between imagery and objects that sit within an in-between state of emergence and realisation.

This series proposes an encounter with the liminal image in construction, where there is an exploration and interaction with the blurred boundaries between the real and imaginatively unreal, and images that are in a process of slow and gradual emergence.

Chant depicts an abstract landscape composed of marks and gestures that are indeterminate and indefinable, embodying both bodily contours and vast panoramic gestural landscapes.

“My practice aims to explore and open up potentials for the dressed body to be reframed or represented within an ephemeral and transient context across site and surface, and contribute to another way of experiencing image and body within the disciplines of both art and design.”
– Armando Chant, 2017

About the Photographer: Armando Chant has worked internationally across diverse creative disciplines and industries including fashion and textile design, art direction and curatorial practice. He currently lectures at University of Technology Sydney, for the Fashion and Textiles Program.

Exhibition details – AUG 23- SEPT 3, 2017
Opening night- Thursday August 24, 6-8pm
Mandatory credit line: From Liminal, by Armando Chant, courtesy of Black Eye Gallery
For inquiries, images and interviews with the artists please contact
Kath Wasiel 0411 806 958 kath@blackeyegallery.com.au

3/138 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst 2010 02 8084 7541 blackeyegallery.com.au Tues-Sunday 10am 6pm

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Sue Stone: Faith, 2017 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)

Sue Stone: Displaced
April 28 - May 28, 2017
Owen James Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Time, memory and family are at the heart of Sue Stone’s mixed-media works. She merges the past and the present to connect personal histories and local identities through dream-like narratives. Starting with old family photographs, she interprets and transforms them through techniques that include hand & machine stitched embroidery, fabric collage, writing and painting.

Stone is also deeply influenced by the history of her native Grimsby, England. For many years, Grimsby supported a major seaport and fishing industry, and where Stone’s father was fish merchant. The industry declined over time, but allusions to it remain in her work.  Stone started sewing early on, learning from and working with her mother who was a tailoress until her early death. This sense of loss, and of displacement, in both emotional and economic terms, is an ongoing theme for the artist.

Sue Stone: Fate, 2017 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)

Sue Stone: Hope, 2017 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)

While she will often make preparatory designs and studies, Stone “draws” her figures by directly stitching on fabric. At times she will use odd swatches from a piece of clothing once worn by the figure she is creating. At other times she carefully creates the figure’s clothing through a series of exquisite stitch techniques. We see parts of the unadorned base fabric come through, an indication perhaps that what lies beneath is as important as what is above. Hand-stitched text, relating a certain figures’ story, will sometimes also be added into the background.

Sue Stone: Remember Me Study #7, 2014 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)

Sue Stone: Study for The Boys Go Down To London Town, 2014 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)

The figures that populate Stone’s imagery waft back and forth through time. In some works she shows several generations of relatives, all at once but at different ages. For example, in The Boys Go To London Town (2014) we see the artist’s father-in-law, along with his own father and uncle. They are dressed for a jaunt about Grimsby, with a classic car from the period. However, they are standing in a present-day London street. Interestingly, sometimes the location is Grimsby Street, in London’s East End. Sharing the same name as her home town, the area in London has also seen seen better days in the past, but is now currently undergoing gentrification as one of the city’s more interesting artistic hubs. Stone photographs graffiti during her travels, and has recently been incorporating it into her works. Graffiti can serve as a liberating symbol, a statement of fact to the world that an artist once existed in a certain place at a certain time. In this same way Stone often incorporates the image of a fish, a personal symbol of Grimsby’s economic past, and of her own. This combination of the real and the unreal, and of the then and the now, is also a balance between playfulness and intimacy.

Sue Stone: Study For The Unknown Statistic (Never Forget), 2014 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)

Sue Stone: The Boys Go To London Town, 2014 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, fabric paint)

Sue Stone is currently the chair of The 62 Group of Textile Artists, an international select membership of textile artists. She studied fashion at St. Martins School of Art and embroidery at Goldsmiths College, London. 

Check the Owen James Gallery for more details of this exhibition, and much more.

All imagery and text were kindly supplied by the Owen James Gallery.

Sue Stone: When Will This Ever End?, 2014 (mixed media, hand/machine stitch, acrylic paint)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

SCREWED by Mary Mazziotti

Mary Mazziotti: Eagle, 2016 (hand embroidery and applique on vintage textile)

I make memento mori (remember you must die) primary in textiles. Notwithstanding the seriousness of the subject I try to lean more towards wit than morbidity. 

SCREWED is a response to the “election” of an unhinged con man with the connivance of a hostile foreign power.  And I’m appalled and disgusted that so many Americans fell for his misogynistic, xenophobic, racist blather. The path he’s leading us down will not make American Great Again. It’s a death sentence for the best principles of democracy. Nations can have life spans, just as people do. SCREWED is a memento mori for America.

SCREWED, can be found along with a range of other work by Mary, at her comprehensive website: http://www.mazziottiart.com/

Mary Mazziotti: George Washington, 2016 (hand embroidery and applique on vintage textile)

               Mary Mazziotti: Lincoln, 2016 (hand embroidery and applique on vintage textile)

Mary Mazziotti: Mt Rushmore, 2016 (hand embroidery and applique on vintage textile)

Mary Mazziotti: Statue of Liberty, 2016 (hand embroidery and applique on vintage textile)

Mary Mazziotti: Thomas Jefferson, 2016 (hand embroidery and applique on vintage textile)

Mary Mazziotti: Uncle Sam, 2016 (hand embroidery and applique on vintage textile)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New Quilting at the Rheged Centre

A new exhibition at Rheged, Cumbria’s foremost arts centre, supported by Arts Council England, will challenge perceptions of quilt making this spring, revealing a strong and vibrant contemporary craft form.

New Quilting, an exclusive exhibition at Rheged, will reveal the new face of contemporary quilting, an art form now just as likely to be found hanging on a gallery wall or urban loft apartment as it is in a rural farmhouse. Quilts by over 30 national and Cumbrian makers have been selected for their craftsmanship and design, colour and innovation. The unique story behind each piece will also be told in the exhibition, either through accompanying sketches and material revealing how each quilt came to be, or through the storytelling ability of the quilt itself.

Alicia Merrett: The Island

John Stokes, Arts Manager at Rheged, said “Quilting has been part of the needlework tradition in Europe since the fifth century and our exhibition celebrates those continuing the tradition today. Quilting is alive and kicking in the modern art world and from handmade fashion to 3D quilts, modern, traditional, pictoral and geometric, visitors will discover the handiwork and dedication required to produce these extraordinary creations. The work which goes into producing each quilts is immense. One quilt, ‘Log Cabin Craziness’ features more than 40,000 pieces of fabric and took 5 months for the artist, Joy Salvage, to complete.”

Ramona Conconi: CMYK

Thanks to funding from Arts Council England, New Quilting will also incorporate a community arts project with locally based artist Maddi Nicholson. She will work with the Levens Quilters group to produce a new piece of contemporary artwork that uses quilting as its medium. The themes of the piece will be local folklore, with more details to be revealed soon.

The exhibition is open to the public from Friday 3 March till Sunday 23 April, from 10am to 5pm daily. Admission is £2.

The complete list of artists: Abigail Booth, Alicia Merrett, Eileen Blood, Elfriede Grooten, Elizabeth Brimelow, Eszter Bornemisza, Greta Fitchett, Helen Howes, Janet Twinn, Jen Kelson, Joy Salvage, Judith Wilson, Kate Crossley, Kate Dowty, Marijke van Welzen, Marita Lappalainen, Michael Fitchett, Monika Steiner, Ramona Conconi, Sandie Lush, Sandy Chandler, Sara Impey, Susan Briscoe, Trudi Wood, Vera and Ctibor Skoček , Janice Gunner, John Winn, Sheena Norquay, Margery Milnes, Cas Holmes, Christine Chester

Vera and Citibor Skocek

About Rheged
Rheged is located just off the M6 (J40) at the northern gateway to the Lake District, which is the birthplace of modern rock climbing and home to some of the world’s most famous mountaineers. Rheged is a family run centre for Arts, Food and Family activities, all of which are of this place. Rheged is also a building of architectural merit, with one of the largest grass covered roofs in the country. The Gallery at Rheged won Gallery of the year in the 2016 Cumbria Life Culture awards.


Michael Fitchett: Shambles