A WHIMSICAL embroidery designer from Rugby has had her quirky creation selected from over 1,000 entries to appear in a prestigious regional exhibition.
Bethany Hughes’ three-dimensional embroidered piece ‘Medusae Miscellanea’ is featured in the Coventry Open exhibition at the city’s Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.
Bethany, who was taught to stitch as a small child, has stitched, drawn and made ‘things’ since she was a very small child.
“No egg box, piece of string or pot of glue was safe – and still isn’t,” she said.
She studied landscape architecture at Edinburgh College of Art and later studied classical studies and art history through the Open University. This – and a childhood spent exploring historic gardens, museums and art galleries – came together to inspire her cross-stitch and embroidery designs.
Bethany designed and made ‘Medusae Miscellanea’ using linen and cotton threads, mounting each panel on card and stitching them together to create her six-inch high masterpiece.
Bethany speaks with pride about her piece, which was inspired by ancient Roman domestic fountains found in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
She said: “This is a demonstration of how a functional piece made using traditional techniques is also a work of art in its own right.
“The fountain’s basin is a pincushion, while its protective building contains pockets and accessories to hold scissors, needles, threads and other needlework essentials.
“Mosaic-style stitches cover the front, side and top back panels like glass and stone. The lighter stitches of the main back panel and the interior panels point to the brushstrokes of the delicate frescoes traditionally painted inside Roman villas. Water-like thread pours from the mosaic stitches of the mouth of Medusa, spilling into and over the felt fountain basin and feeding the moss knots that creep up the stone work.
“The piece is topped with a roof stitched to look like the overlapping tiles that were typically used in Ancient Rome.“
Bethany frequently shows her work at Rugby arts venue Alexandra Arts. Visit https://artatthealex.blogspot.com for more information.
The Coventry Open runs until May 21. Visit https://tinyurl.com/2ezkrbz5 for more information.