It's finally finished! It still needs to be put it the hot press, but the embroidery has been completed! I'm very proud of the result, and I think the amount of hard work and effort in this piece is evident. Once it has been pressed and tidied up I'm sure it'll look even better.
As I have mentioned previously, this piece lists various memories from my time in Finland, colour coded to correspond to the mixed media portraits of my friends. I feel that this has become a self-portrait, as we are products of our own experience.
Finishing this work has left me with a feeling of pride and relief, but also sadness because it has consumed me for the past couple of months. Throughout this time, I have become more and more enthusiastic about maintaining embroidery as an integral part of my practice, and has lead to me being referred to as a "punk embroiderer". My intention was to have imperfect stitching with a clear human element, and as it was put to me, there would have been no punk without prog rock, as punk was a deconstruction. I have deconstructed hand sewing, and the importance of careful, uniform work. Hence, the punk embroiderer.
I will be exhibiting this piece at my show in April, and after that will probably be selling it. I don't think this will be the only completely stitched work I will produce.
Now that this piece is done I will be looking back over a couple of my mixed media portraits that I was not totally happy with, and possibly giving them a bit more work now that I can see them with fresh eyes. From next week I'll start on a new piece, which I have a few ideas for.