'Kids Today' came about because Emily was keen to stitch children other than her own. Emily lives on a small cul–der-sac in South East London and very unusually, lots of children play games together in the street. They ride bikes and roller skate and dress up and make movies. They climb lamp posts and kick balls and fall out and make up. They have picnics and water fights and they grow up together. One by one they came and sat at Emily’s kitchen table, most eager to take part in the project, some less sure but keen not to miss out.
Stitching a Love Story
Having children made Emily reflect on her own upbringing and priorities. The portrait work examines the relationships between family members, the joys and the frustrations. Determined to make work that was personal and creatively rewarding, Emily embarked on a series of portraits. Initially she made portraits of her children and embroidered them with her thoughts, wishes and aspirations. The message isn’t a sentimental one, but rather a list of instructions. Advice that might help them to navigate the contradictory messages that life presents us with. Emily is very interested in the mixed messages we are bombarded with and how we navigate and disseminate this information.
Emily thoughtfully observes her family and explores the contradictory messages parents give their children. These pieces express her hopes, fears and aspirations for her sons.
What do you want to be?
Portrait of a child leaning against the Museum of Natural History in New York. 2016, Linen, silk organza applique, hand embroidered - 60cm x 69cm
Inspired by the 62 Group exhibition theme Making Space. Emily decided to make an embroidery of her friends son in his Astronaut costume, she thought the moose on the stone facade made such a great composition. 'In equal measure I have enjoyed and worried about the space and subtlety the stone wall gives this piece'. EJG