Embroidery coming out of trees, that had to caught my attention. Text from Diana Yevtuhk on questions by Claire de Pourtalès.
I live in Lviv, Ukraine. I am 24 years old and I have a degree in Environmental Protection and Rational Use of Natural Resources (Lviv University).
Besides that, I am very interested in photography and drawing, as well as all other techniques favoring my creative expression, especially embroidery. But the only “training” I took was with a group of amateur photographers when I was 13, with a small digital camera.
In 2018, I made my first embroidery. It was a bee on the back of a denim jacket. I liked the slow pace and peace of mind that this work gave me – I fell in love with this process right away and started incorporating it into my daily artistic research.
Multitudes of life hidden in the plain sight / detail © Diana Yevtuhk
I walk a lot, I like to observe nature in its details, discover its hidden beauties. During the winter of 2018, I felt challenged by the empty spaces in the heart of the trunks of the trees that I passed by every day. I saw them as scars and then little by little as spaces to be filled. For months I let myself be challenged by these forms, what they were telling me.
I felt that something was missing, which had its place already prepared. I took the measurements of these holes and I imagined drawings. I remain open as much as possible to what may come, to let my imagination and my creativity overcome the physical constraints of the world.
Multitudes of life hidden in the plain sight © Diana Yevtuhk
Each embroidery fits perfectly into the holes for which it was designed. The dimensions are so precise that I didn’t need any glue to hold them together. The structure of the bark allows the edges to slide underneath. It is also an ephemeral art, I cannot prevent them from being stolen. I imagine they stayed there two or three days at most! I tried to imagine a week of exhibition, but the challenge was too complex!
Embroidery and painting are two mediums that allow you to play with colors. But embroidery is limited in the choice of colors. If you need a unique shade, you have to paint the threads yourself. And that’s exactly what I’m learning: I want to be able to dye my embroidery threads myself.
Embroidery also allows me to create volumes and offers more creative possibilities, but it also takes much more time than painting!
I don’t consider myself tied to any particular medium. I like to mix them, explore what each can offer. I like sculpture, ceramics, glass and stained glass, wood and metal work as much as embroidery and painting.
Stitch by stitch, cracked and forgotten wall blossoms with a new life / detail © Diana Yevtuhk
My embroideries inserted in the trees are a story between Nature and me. When I waked in front of these bruised-looking trunks, I felt like a stare towards me as if it came from the very soul of the tree. It was a very special feeling and I started expressing it through my threads. I think “Multitudes of life hidden in the plain sight” is the physical expression of the soul of the tree – to teach us that trees are alive and much closer to us than their appearance suggests.
Then I put flowers. Spring was coming and inspired me, all this reborn life gave me ideas of other incarnations of the soul of the tree. These flowers were in search of the first rays of sunshine, hence the name of the following two works (Life emerging from mysterious hiding places / Stitch by stitch, cracked and forgotten wall blossoms with a new life).
Stitch by stitch, cracked and forgotten wall blossoms with a new life © Diana Yevtuhk
As summer approached, I felt more and more mesmerized by the loud silence and stoic beauty of the battered trees around me. I was thinking more and more about the question of violence, the one we suffer, the one that nature and all living creatures suffer. Obviously all living beings suffer. Where do we suffer? In the heart, in the soul? This is how a heart came to embody the soul in my latest work in this series, Remedying the wounded heart of nature. Our power as humans is to heal wounds and love life around us. This embroidery is a call to heal and to banish all violence.
Remedying the wounded heart of nature / Soigner le coeur blessé de la Nature © Diana Yevtuhk
The content of this site is free and is not damaged by un-welcomed publicity. I do this work with love and passion but it requires a lot of time. I would like to continue to offer a wider market to our artists, to show how embroidery is a wonderful art. But I do need a little bit of help. If you feel like it, you can participate with a little donation to help me continue. I will be so grateful! Thank you! Claire