Observing the quiet beauty of things, a knobbly stick or the worn handle of a well-used tool, textile artist Emily Jo Gibbs creates hand-stitched works with a delicate graphic quality. Her portraits and still lifes are constructed from a collage of silk organza.
Emily’s recent work explores The Value of Making. She is creating portraits of makers to express how proud she is to be a member of a creative community and celebrating the skill, dexterity and creative problem-solving of people who make things. These works reflecting Emily’s concern about the position of making in the hierarchy of skills we value as a society and how this is exacerbated by the decline of making in schools.
Design writer and commentator Katie Treggiden observed in 2018, “There are things Emily is able to articulate through the physically invested work of stitching… that might elude both writers and photographers…. This is a very interesting idea to me, the magic bit, somehow by taking the time to slowly describe someone in stitch you convey your admiration…. a quiet, thoughtful act of care and value.”
Between 1993 and 2006 Emily was the Creative Director of Emily Jo Gibbs, luxury handbags. Works from this period are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Crafts Council Collection and The Museum of Fine Art, Houston.