Laura Bell

These embroidered, textile works employ traditional techniques taken from hand-embroidery, appliqué, quilting, beading, and stumpwork.


The act of stitching is one that is simultaneously repetitive, meditative, and industrious. It is also a series of tiny acts of violence: cutting, piercing, grafting together, that when added up, become a realized form. The texture of the materials against the hand, the stab of the needle, the piles of knots, beads, stitches, and filled forms, creates an intimate and tactile working process.


The forms bubble, gurgle, boil, and emerge. They stretch and strain against each other, encrusted by milky blooms of knots or glittering clots of beads. As they creep across the surface of the piece, they become unruly and unpleasant, recalling itchy prickles, a parasitic mild, or an oozing bud.

In these pieces, I am contemplating the inevitability of change and my preoccupation with its effects, as I reflect on getting older, as well as my worries for the future of my daughter and the world she is inheriting: one of wonder and beauty certainly, but also one where beloved animals go extinct, viruses grow stronger and more deadly, and weather patterns are violent and unpredictable. This anxiety is built into the work.  The pieces contain a world in which a battle between chaos and control is being waged.


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