When I look at artwork, I often think about whether the pieces could be conducive to working as a textile. I am always one to see the world in terms of fabrics and am inspired by those pieces that have the potential to create a beautiful garment—a small glimpse at the inner mental workings of a fashion designer. When I look at Emily Barletta’s thread and paper creations, this is exactly how I feel. This Brooklyn-based artist turns the concept of painting on it’s head by swapping paints and brushes for embroidery thread and paper. As you can see, inspiration is a never ending cycle of artists gaining inspiration from one another and their methods!
Emily’s techniques of sewing thread in a fluid manner on paper allows the stitches to transform from their traditional appeal and instead appear as brushstrokes. She blends these brushstrokes in a style similar to what one would see in an oil painting. The result is an innovative expansion of what a painting could be. And you’ll have to see it to believe it.
“People speak about the scars left behind by the traumas of war. They do not often speak about the scars left behind from of day-to-day living,” shares Barletta. “There is the constant push and pull of light and dark, the violence that exists, and the uncontrollable effects on the psyche when faced with the necessity to survive.” She adds:
What I am trying to do is keep a record of these things, by hand sewing on paper, each stitch becomes a mark focusing in on one small moment. I can create a tiny intersection that slows down time and records it.
“Whether it is only using blood red threads, or playing with landscape colors, the needle allows me to create a mental space slower than the rest of the day. In which I can put the needle into the paper, pull it through, taught, and start again, creating delicate worlds that are softer and kinder than this.”
For more information about Emily, visit emilybarletta.com.
Photos Courtesy of Emily Barletta