James Merry's Embroidery Wonderland
Meet James Merry, self-taught embroidery artist and creative assistant to Bjork.
Residing in a small cabin studio just outside Reykjavik Merry dreams up wondrous works of stitch, imagining a place of transformation where anatomy and botany meet.
In addition to Merry’s latest embroidery headpiece for Bjork, Tactile Trends looks at ‘The Embroidered Gaze’ for the V&A Museum and ‘Sporticulture’ for Opening Ceremony.
Bjork steps out in the ‘Ghost Orchid’ headpiece at her recent concert in Montreal, looking like a fantastical creature from a Techno Wonderland. The 3D sculptural embroidery features plastic, wire and glass and also glows under UV light adding extra depth and dimension.
This latest artwork from the ongoing collaboration between Merry and Bjork sees their creative partnership continue to push boundaries giving us tactile artworks that appeal to our senses on so many levels.
The Embroidered Gaze
Commissioned by the V&A Museum this hand-embroidered piece used eye-tracking technology to record the precise position of Merry’s pupils as he looked at a series of sculptures from the Museum collection. After analyzing the many hours of raw data Merry was left with a ‘personal gaze journey’ which he re-imagined into a tactile embroidery piece using gold, silk and neon threads, beadwork and French knots.
The flora and fauna of Iceland grows organically into Merry’s work for Opening Ceremony. We see glacier flowers, moss, vegetables and local endangered plants rooting themselves into sportswear logos suggesting a kind of fertilization. It’s a whimsical transformation of a machine made aesthetic and strongly represents the growing trend movement for individual style and slow fashion.
The way Merry elegantly bridges the gap between traditional needle craft and technology could easily play into emerging trends for data informed design and equally the theatre he injects into his works is hugely inspiring for trend building around themes of transformation.