Welcome to the blog of Spike Dennis; an artist and sometime curator. Trained in London Spike has exhibited widely, from London to Los Angeles, and has delivered projects from Cardiff to Stockholm, for organisations including the Illustration Research network and Cardiff Design Festival amongst Others.
The Crimea Cup ’14 – Hand Embroidered Subbuteo Cloth
This embroidered Subbuteo cloth is a little aside I’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks. It has been hand embroidered with cotton thread with a design that takes inspiration from football tactics boards.
The markers that have been sewn into the cloth take their colours and layout from the Russian (white, blue & red) and Ukrainian (yellow & blue) flags. The choice of countries represented was inspired by current activities taking place in that part of the world following the annexing of the Crimea by Russia.
The Subbuteo cloth is an old Chad Valley item and so is a little worn. The pictures show the cloth laid out on a table as is the norm with a Subbuteo football cloth although I feel that the cloth probably needs stretching and mounting.
I’ve just published the first in a new series of embroidered artworks to my online portfolio at www.spikedennis.com.
The works, entitled Unicorn Dating, take the form of a series of hand embroidered subversive cross stitch samplers. The inspiration for the work originated through by research into the symbolic unicorn, and in particular the medieval tale which tells of how a unicorn can only be captured by a young virgin.
The design of these works draws inspiration from old European samplers as you might be able to tell from the image above. A number of the works have QR codes embroidered into them which provide links to content at www.unicorn-dating.com.
To view the works click here; but please bear in mind that there is a lot of graphic content and strong language contained within these works – you have been warned!
The design was put together by Matt Joyce aka themeekshall with the Mayor and Metabeats and then handed over to me to embroider in gold thread. After creating a few test pieces on a variety of black fabrics we settled on a black velvet ground and I used some Madeira metallic thread for the type. I found that these threads were a little less prone to fraying and splitting than the DMC metallic threads that I’ve used in the past and they gave a less of a ‘crafty’ finish.
The tasty little video above was produced by Huw Caddy and the photograph for the album cover and iTunes artwork was captured by Alex Mills. It’s great to see the work expertly framed and finished and rather exciting to see my stitches in the iTunes store.