“Beauty parallels melancholy, as conventional stitches acquiesce to the fragile and expressive.”
Like waking from a dream, Michelle Kingdom’s work leaves an impression of place and story, but only upon contemplation can a personal meaning be revealed. Each small scene hints at a larger narrative, like a forgotten snapshot found at a thrift store. The open-ended story Kingdom begins invites the viewer to create with her, completing the narrative in the context of their personal history and experiences.
in her own words
“My work is about the human experience; how we live our lives, the stories we tell ourselves, the history we choose to pass on or leave behind. [It] is an exploration of psychological landscapes, illuminating thoughts left unspoken. I create tiny worlds in thread to capture elusive yet persistent inner voices. Literary snippets, memories, personal mythologies and art historical references inform the imagery; fused together, these influences explore relationships, domesticity and self-perception. Symbolism and allegory lay bare dynamics of aspiration and limitation, expectation and loss, belonging and alienation, truth and illusion.”
The small scale and fluid hand of the embroidery lend a further level of intimacy to the work.
“The work always starts with the lengthy process of formulating and developing the concept. Research and sketches are continually refined and reworked, eventually being transferred onto fabric and then executed in thread. The stitching is done quite intuitively and each piece stays in flux until the very end.”
Michelle Kingdom lives and works in Burbank, California. She earned a BA in Fine Art from UCLA, focusing on drawing and painting. A self-taught embroidery artist, Kingdom has been creating for two decades, only recently exhibiting her work nationally.