Traces of a Shared Memory

Julie Blyfields recent work explores her family history and her own sense of place and identity through the objects that have been handed down to her from her grandparents. Her grandmothers embroidery was a specific reference point for this work, as she metaphorically 'unpicked' her designs and reinvented them through her own medium.

This recent work explores my family history and my own sense of place and identity through the objects that have been handed down to me from my grandparents. I specifically referenced my grandmother's embroideries as a starting point, metaphorically 'unpicked' her designs and reinvented them through my own medium. I am interested in the way my grandmother, Jessie Tufnail of Berkshire, used the techniques of stitching and embroidery and reinterpreted them in her own 'style'. The backs of her embroidered and stitched cloths reveal her stitch marks and the random nature of her process, while the front face conforms to the order of the designated design.

'When Julie's Mum left England by boat& she was given small items - decorative teaspoons, tea strainer, embroidered cloths, candlestick bases and items of jewellery. These loved objects were farewell gifts, small things to pack within the restricted luggage. Stored in the darkness of her linen cupboard, wrapped and silenced by the cloth, she conserved these items, which had belonged to family members. Once unwrapped, stories of her mother's earlier life and her English heritage unfolded.'

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