Although leaves often go unnoticed by the average passersby, artist Hillary Waters Fayle has made them the focus of her latest embroidery project. Entitled Botanical Stitchwork, this ongoing series uses the organic materials that the artist collects on her walks as canvases for intricately stitched designs, which range from geometric patterns to stylized floral renderings.
The stitching atop the leaves is an unlikely pairing but one ripe with metaphors. “I want to salvage and revive our connection to the natural world,” Fayle tells My Modern Met. “I study textile and printmaking traditions and processes, using them in collaboration with found botanical and organic material to symbolically bind nature and the human hand.” This can be seen in her creative approach. Since leaves lack space between their fibers, Fayle must first create the holes that will allow her needle to pass through. Then, as she fills the space with colorful thread, the leaf appears whole again and more elaborate than before.
Fayle says this tiny act of “destruction and reparation” feels like a gesture of hope for our relationship with the natural world. “Leaves are ephemeral but are more resilient than they might appear,” she explains. “Leaves are icons of the idea of ‘nature’, and infinitely replenishable, but taken for granted to the point that we now have the term ‘plant blindness.'” By embroidering this common organic material, Fayle hopes it will change the way we look at our surroundings. Each of the artist's creations is completely unique and holds a special relationship with the leaf it was made on. “These botanical embroideries and blueprints are born of my desire to illuminate our connection to the environment and my curiosity about the overlapping of sacred geometry, with patterns in nature.”
Scroll down to see more amazing embroidery art by Fayle, and follow the artist on Instagram to keep up to date with her latest creations.