Supporters of Embroidery
My name is Libbertine Vale I am a contextual free motion embroider based in rural Herefordshire, I am also a part time lecturer on the Contemporary Design Crafts Degree at Hereford College of Arts, a course that I graduated from in 2018. I have always been a creative, but being a mum to three children and working in a busy music department left little time for my own indulgence. As my children grew up I evaluated my existence and decided it was now my time to indulge myself, instead of being there to facilitate other people dreams and ambitions and wow, what a roller coaster ride that has been; I was picked up by The Embroiders Guild at the New Designers Exhibition in 2018 and have been exhibiting widely with both them and in other arenas, I am also the educational Scholar for the Embroiders Guild 2019/20. I feel blessed by the support and successes I have achieved in my short career post-graduation.
My practice is multi-pronged and experimental but one thing that unites it is the desire to use interaction as a tool to the develop work. Sometime this is immediate via commentary and conversation, other times it is via computer or as a series of interviews that then evolves into a response. I thrive on focusing on our commonalities, and use thread as a means to draw us together and unearth seams of combined intent and similarity which hopes to evoke understanding and compassion. For instance recent projects include ‘The Harm Chair’ where I asked people in social media how their social anxiety kept them in their chair rather than out mixing with their friends and received forty pages of responses within an hour, I then free motion embroidered these onto fabric and upholstered them onto a traditional armchair, embedding the emotion felt whilst using and object, onto the object. Or The ‘Be Everything Skirt’ where during all the exhibition that I did in 18/19 I took my machine and asked women to tell me what ‘Be Everything’ meant to them and embroidered the text onto a strip that is to become a double sized crinoline skirt, showing the advancement and restrictions still felt by women today, I am still making this piece, and I am not sure it will ever be finished, I love the idea of having it on a revolve so I can sit with my sewing machine during exhibitions and just keep taking opinions and adding to it.
I feel that Embroidery magazine is the quintessential voice in the fibre arts world, it represent the centre to outer reaches, from process driven to purely conceptual works. It has consistently represented this Art form since 1932, and speaks for us all, from the cutting edge designer-maker to the home crafter alike, there is always something relevant and intriguing to draw our interest. This is important work, we are all aware that our art form is viewed in many places as a lesser art form, and perhaps even women’s folly, so a literate and perceptive voice is necessary to educate and inform exactly why this discipline demands and deserves more respect in the wider arts community, and Embroidery magazine fills this role with dollops style and ladles of panache.
But even more important than serving as beacon of positive reinforcement for the discipline it is a life-enhancing resource to those of us that are 'hooked on thread' providing us with all the news, diary dates, book reviews and features that we did not even know we need, (but we do). It gives a much needed platform to upcoming and established makers alike and explains intent and process that heightens all our understanding of the brightest and best in the embroidery world today. It stitches everything together with relevant content bursting at the seams, it is the voice of our community, gathering the threads from afar and beautifully arranging them for our delectation.
Class act for sure. - can you tell I am a fan?