After Hours

Transformation via cross-stitch embroidery
If you happen to be visiting the Boston area this holiday season, stop by Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge to view its  display of antiquated household appliances old shoes, clothing, and furniture that have been heavily (and with a lot humor) transformed by needlepoint by Swedish artist Ulla-Stiner Wikander
 
Wikander, a thrift store enthusiast, collected for a number of years a treasure trove of cross point embroidery designs, ranging froma  kitschy flamenco dancer to florals that only your very elderly aunt would love. Taking not very exciting appliances like an old rotary phone or iron, Wikander takes the embroidery and stretches it like a skin over the object, turning something old and obsolete—the ugly ducklings of the appliance world—into objets d’art. 
 
She notes on her website, “For more then 10 years I have collected cross stitch embroidery and today I have a big collection with over 100 different designs. These embroideries have been made by women and is often seen as kitsch and regarded pretty worthless. I have mixed feelings for them but sometimes they are very beautiful and I want to bring them back to life.
 
In 2012 I started to cover ordinary household items from the 70s, like a vacuum cleaner, sewing machine, electric mixer etc. I find it interesting to see how these objects transforms in a new context; the obsolet, the things we do not want any longer, the old and forgotten things. They become artifacts from a begone era, disguised, camouflaged and dressed. I give them a second life and although I cut the embroideries into pieces, I think they look very beautiful, when they have been ”dressed up”. 
 
I visit flea markets and vintage stores to find cross stitch embroidery and the objects I want to work with. Some of the small objects, like an iron or a phone take me a day or two to make, but the bigger installations takes weeks to finish.”
The show will run until January 31st. For more information please visit www.mobilia-gallery.com.
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