DREAMS AND REALITIES – Assignment 3, Unit 2  Task 1 & 2

(1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4)


(Research and personal images – part 5 – 1.1, 1.2)

This week, I’ve done a little more research into work that I enjoy, by other artists’, using media other than, but also photography.  I began by thinking about how I might like to use their influence within this assignment.  The following images are produced mainly using coloured embroidery thread,  and found images, sometimes found items such as tickets and fabrics. The images are then scanned into the computer and printed as digital images. Some of them are larger installations or illustrations for book covers.

I am by nature a creative person, my work life was generally creative and instinctive.  With mindfulness a relatively new buzz-word, I have long since found enrichment and affirmation through my creativity. My hands are my tools. I feel most grounded when I am surrounded by nature, and my hands are in the soil, a brush against the leaves, or the faintest scent from a flower.  I am a gardener, a plantswoman, I paint with colour in a garden and I am free of limitations.  I am happiest when my hands are moving and working some new piece. When my hands are occupied by yarn or thread, needle or blade.  I flow with a pen or a brush. By comparison, using a PC and technology does not come easily.

RESEARCH (1.1, 1.2)

Mana Morimoto

Mana Morimoto  often works with found images on Google, or her friends’ Facebook pages, this colourful Japanese artist uses bright thread to stitch bright coloured lines from peoples eyes, or to connect people. She even decorates Old Masters Paintings!

Diane Meyer – “embroiders reality in search of truth”

Diane Meyer Berlin. Bernauer strasse.( Image found on her website)

In an age where we increasingly like to publicly display our private lives on social media, we sometimes create an image of ourselves, and our world, that shows only what we want to show. Our public face, but what lies behind that face?  This US artist uses the old craft of cross stitch, which is currently enjoying a revival with both women and men, to enhance photographs, believing that there are ‘hidden truths’ behind the images.

 “The project refers to the failures of photography, In preserving experience and personal history as well as the means by which photographs become nostalgic objects that obscure objective understandings of the past.”  D.Meyer 

Buildings and faces are often ‘pixilated’ by cross stitches, and the colours observed beautifully. I particularly loved her Berlin series. There is great poignancy in her work, as she follows the path of the former Berlin wall. Photographing locations where little sign of the divide remains, just clues to its’ existence such as disused watch towers and gaps between buildings.  The use of threads in her photographs remind the viewer that there are hidden truths behind each image which have been left unsaid or intentionally ignored. You can see more of them here at: her site.

Vivienne Strauss

Although not, (as far as I’m aware) a photographer per se. This one is a little closer to home, as a personal favourite of mine. Since we can show our artistic influences within the brief here in our blogs, please allow me to introduce this wonderfully talented artists’ work. I have been following this lady for some time on social media. I adore her bold geometric, retro-feel paintings, her collages, poetry and vibrant embroideries.  Her work is witty, ironic and beautifully bright.  Humour, rejection, feminism… all life is here.  I can see, and share her love of old novels,  and 50’s chic. Her embroidered poems touch me, and her comical collaged depictions of cats and animals make me smile. Best of all, I love the hilarious montages that she stitches onto vintage flashcards. The birds are my favourites 🙂  I think her work encompasses the title dreams and realities really well, and quite simply it makes me feel good. She inspires me to make and create.. 🙂 I have asked for permission to use some of her images here, and she sweetly granted it.

Thank you Vivienne. You can find more of her work here: http://vivienneart.blogspot.co.uk


I suppose this post touches quite lightly on the subject of dreams and realities,  but finding and exploring these artists has really inspired me to move onto something on a personal creative level.  It touches on my dreams of being able to find a potential career. I’m not sure I’m quite ready to divulge exactly what I’m working on just yet, I don’t want to invest a great deal of time barking up the wrong forest, never mind the tree!!  There are big clues within this post and some of my pieces are almost ready.

So here we are… getting to my point.

As this course progresses I recognize that part of the course for me, is about experimenting and finding new ways to see, and to create.  I am aware that I am finding it harder to be as proactive as I might want to be, in terms of attending galleries (and despite working on all the Harry Potter films) comprehending the technical wizardry that is using Photoshop!! I think it is beginning to dawn on me that a career as a ‘working Photographer’ is less likely.

Yes, you need to be creative and have a good eye, but you also need to be technically accurate (…and technically minded.) I may never be a great photographer.  I am still a bit over-awed the moment I look at any photography forum online by all the gobbledegook and jargon.. although, I admit, it is all becoming clearer. (I am imagining my poor tutor banging her head on the desk right now… 😉 )

Photography, ‘the job’ is, at times, more physically demanding than I had realised, you need co-ordination, a sense of balance and speed (hmm…. that’s me out already!)  You need fast reaction times, deep pockets,  an enormous kit bag, a tripod carrier 😉 , and waterproof mascara!!  If I can combine my love of photography, with my love of all things garden and flower, and my love of craft, then if I take away nothing else from this course then I’ll be happy. 🙂






 http://vivienneart.blogspot.co.uk// facebook: vivennestraussart




  1. Thank you for yet another inspiring post my friend, you write from the heart. I love the embroidered images you’ve shared here of other talented people that you admire. You’ve come a long way since the first day you started the photography course, I’m so impressed at how you’ve created this blog to document your progress…please keep writing! xx

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  2. I agree with Gillian. You have already come a long way since starting your course. You are at the self critical stage, seeing the imperfections of your work and ignoring the good bits. You have gained technical knowledge and are afraid of what you can’t master yet. Is a technically perfect photo the best? Airbrushing and digital editing does not produce the best picture. The content and composition comes first. What the photographer saw is being relayed.
    Your blog is brilliant and eloquent. Have more belief in yourself and positive thoughts. If you want to do photography professionally, you will do it.

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