“Hand-embroidery is my primary medium because sewing literally pierces the ‘skin’ of the paper or canvas, yielding an orderly, clean surface and a messy, chaotic underbelly – just like the skin is a calm and placid exterior that masks the messy inner workings of the human body.”
With one look at Megan Canning’s anatomical embroidery, canvas can easily be seen as the skin of her work. Thread illustrates our inner workings, while text reveals our emotional composition. Memories are assigned not just to the brain and heart, but to the mouth, the genitalia, the cells. Human experience becomes physical, scientific, emotional, and beautiful.
in her words
“The human body is a source of inspiration and fascination, as it is the instrument of our lived experience — both where and how we collect implicit and explicit memories. My interest in the body grew out of an interest in memory and how we are profoundly influenced by our interactions with others, carrying those experiences with us, like smells, sounds, touches, etc.”
“I want to surprise, challenge, and enthrall the viewer with embroidered interpretations of what is actually hidden inside themselves; inside their own bodies lies a beautiful universe that is wholly unfamiliar to most of us and yet it is fundamental not only to our survival, but also to how we experience the world around us. Everything we know of the world we live in is interpreted, communicated and recorded through our physical bodies.”
Megan Canning is based in Brooklyn, New York. She has an MFA in Painting from Hunter College and a BFA in Art Education from Ohio University. Her work has been collected and exhibited nationally, and featured in several publications including The New York Times, Art World Digest, Mr. X Stitch and SciArt in America. Canning has taught embroidery at the Textile Art Center in Manhattan and runs a popular community knitting group called “Knit+Wine” in Brooklyn.