Tamara Russell

Tamara Russell (Australia)

Title: Loss – 2017-2019
Medium: Cotton thread on vintage linen
Size: 21 x 29cm x 2
Price: AU$420.00 (Each)

Reclaimed linen table cloth and cotton thread are handstitched to portray my sister, Jenifer’s struggle with breast cancer. I have interpreted the marks she often used in creating her leather work pieces.

In 2014 Jenifer was one of many women in Australia diagnosed with breast cancer. For two years her life was disrupted by multiple treatments but her future looked bright. Sadly in 2017 she was told that the cancer had returned and was now stage 4 spreading through her bones and liver. She fought hard to overcome her diagnosis but by June 2019 all hope faded and she passed away during the full moon. Her hopes for the future faded as the colours of loss fade.

I am a Textile Artist specialising in free machine embroidery, hand stitching and mending. In my textile art practice, I explore my surroundings and interpret what I see through the medium of embroidery. My work has been exhibited in the United Kingdom and Australia.

My practice engages with the natural environment recreating the images and shapes in my embroidered works in both 2 and 3D form. My photos are the starting point as I explore my subject matter directly onto fabric, painting with thread. In my work I am able to portray my concerns around social issues including the environment, climate change and the treatment of asylum seekers in Australia. I find textiles to be a perfect medium for expressing my thoughts using both hand and machine stitching.

Working with found materials I find the joy is the unexpected uses that can be found for them. I love this unpredictability and enjoy the inventiveness necessary to transform them. The materials not only highlight a need to address the amount of waste we produce, but also contributes to the story. I try to always use materials that are reclaimed, things with a history that have been discarded and might otherwise end up in landfill.