Anne Bernasconi – colours before everything else


My origins
I was born in the South of France. This is where I grew up and have spent most of my life. The scrubland, the sun, the sea were my cradle. I don’t know if it has influenced my work, but it’s the only cocoon where I feel good …

Mother and Child ©Anne Bernasconi
(From top to bottom) Frida / Eve / Fancy Bird / To look far away / Leaving-Returning / Ex-voto to Frida ©Anne Bernasconi
Frida / To look far away / Dreaming ©Anne Bernasconi

Talking about my work without talking about my illness is to miss the point of embroidery. In 2012, I was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disease. Since then I have learned to live differently and my work has also had to adapt …

Blue face ©Anne Bernasconi

Soon after the diagnosis of my disease my condition worsened, gradually forcing me to give up pencils and brushes. From that moment on I decided to let myself go in creation, not to forbid myself certain things … Painting, collage, 2D, 3D, embroidery … For a long time, I forbade myself to stitch, thinking it was not made for me. No doubt at the time I did not know how to use these colored threads and these stitches, to make them mine and transform them into artistic work. After the diagnosis, I bought some threads, some fabric and I started … It was in 2013. I felt a great relief at that moment. Sitting while pulling my threads I could create and isolate myself, detach myself from the rest …

Protecting ©Anne Bernasconi
Ex-voto to Frida ©Anne Bernasconi

I learned to embroider by watching pictures (I have a lot of trouble with written explanations) and filmed tutorials (I mute the videos and focus on the movements). I guess if my great-grandmother had taught me how to stitch, she would have shown me … This is how I learn. I love all embroidery techniques, from the Middle Ages to the present day, from South to North, from West to East! There is currently a wave of artists of all kinds, but there are two artists whose work I love, both in detail and in color: Chiachio & Giannone.
I am not too influenced by other artists. The most important thing for me is the color. It has been since I was very young. Thirty years ago, I joined a fine arts school. I thought I would go into sculpture, but ultimately the world of color won. I never finished my education and put my pencils and brushes down for years. Then in 2009 I resumed my colors and since published a few illustration books (Editions Apeiron).

Embroidery is a medium like any other but it is easier to implement than painting for me. I think I found the same creative freedom in embroidery that painting allowed me. I learned to draw differently so that I could continue working in my colored bubble.
I stitch every day, in the office for finishing touches, beading, sewing. And in the afternoon until the evening on my hoop. In general, I draw directly on the fabric, then I let myself be guided by my desires, the mood of the day. I never know what I’m going to do, or what it will look like when it’s done. The stitches are linked, they overlap each other and form the design; sometimes, it creates volume on its own, otherwise I create it. I think my desire for volume is linked to my artistic career, this path that I did not choose a few years ago and that I am rediscovering. I most often use perlé cotton n ° 8 which allows me to work more easily than with a mouliné. I use finer threads for very small parts (these are the limits imposed by my disability).

The blue eyes siren ©Anne Bernasconi

Your workshop
It looks like a flea market where I spend a lot of time looking for what I need (smile), but also a lab where almost anything is possible. I have always amassed objects, fabrics, antique papers … My treasures mix themselves: pearls and old fabrics, forgotten photos and colored threads…

Your themes
I believe that most of my work has always been focused on people, their representation and emotions. Of course, the theme grew with the onset of the disease. My first paintings were of drinkers and their tormented souls. I often approach motherhood by creating mothers and children, I love sacred art.

Black Virgin ©Anne Bernasconi

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