Embroidered illuminations : portraits of personal saints in digital stitch : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Design, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
I have designed a series of portraits of personal saints using new digital embroidery technology.
Like a medieval manuscript, the embroideries illuminate spiritual experience by bringing to light
the stories and symbolism surrounding the Catholic saints. Historically saints have been identified
in art by distinctive symbols that have both a physical and spiritual interpretation. In this series
I have stitched this symbolism together with images of close friends and family in order to uphold Ithe exceptional qualities of these personal saints. Like a traditional embroidery sampler, this series demonstrates
the stitch techniques I have developed using a Tajima industrial embroidery machine, like a sampler there is
a spiritual message that has been developed within the context of a reinvestigation into my Catholic heritage.
Although these embroideries are designed as objects of personal protection and devotion, it is the intention that
the viewer may be inspired to contemplate spiritual ideas and to envisage the saints in their lives.