So I travelled to Ealing, West London, to see an exhibition called "Beware of Embroidery", a collection of works by artists using embroidery as their medium.
While the exhibition it self was small, I should recommend it if only for the work of...no, I can't single out one artist, although I have my favourite pieces.
Laura Splan has two beautiful pieces, a fan and a hankerchief with embroidery designs based on the anatomy of the human eye. Sounds strange, but both pieces were quite delicate.
Tamar Stone created a series of books focussing on issues in womens' lives. The books themselves were created by embroidery and print on antique corsets, a metaphor relating to constriction, correction, appearance and especially assimilation, the need women have to fit in to certain situations - to be beautiful, a good wife and mother, and difficulties many face in trying to break free. Stone is also exhibiting a series of beds that should be seen. In both cases, I suggest that if you want to explore these two series of pieces, ask the gallery assistants if they are available, to show you the different layers/pages of each piece. It is so tempting to touch them, but please, don't.
Louise Riley might just be my favourite of the whole exhibition. Working with yarns, fabric, mattressess and even a tree, Riley created pieces that made me concentrate on the processes she uses and try to reconcile that with the images of society she presents. Her images are life sized, and in some cases it is necessary to take a step back so as to take it all in and not be swayed by the use of texture on texture and colours interweaved. Look for the installation Mother of Pearl, a mattress suspended by ropes in an ante room.
A short exhibition, but if you are interested in contemporary art, you might get something out of it. And, it is free.