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Kelly Darke


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This one of a kind abstract embroidery piece was hand stitched using new and recycled materials. The work highlights the circular format referencing a mandala. A mandala often represents wholeness, or the universe, and the hand stitching process used to create this artwork is an active meditation, creating a calm and peaceful image. All materials are chosen for their color and texture to create a balanced composition.

8"H × 8"W × 1"D
Wall Hangings
paper, cotton and synthetic fabric on linen
Keep out of direct sunlight, dust with dry cloth


I use new and recycled materials to create highly textured fiber art that is hand embroidered, woven, tied, and wrapped. Hopefully, evoking a positive emotional experience for the viewer. Ever since I was a child, fibers have been a source of comfort - collecting yarn, string, and fabric before I knew what to do with it. I have always been fascinated with the colors and textures of various fibers, how they feel, and how they look next to each other. My collection of materials inspired my abstract embroidery work. I begin by intuitively stitching thread in various thicknesses onto fabric, embedding textures of other fibers within the stitches. In my woven pieces, I also work directly onto the surface or frame, building the piece along the way. This process creates visual and physical layers to examine. Realizing this obsession with fibers must mean something, I researched the therapeutic benefits of fiber art and wrote my art therapy masters thesis on the topic. Fibers are a part of all of our lives from the blanket we were swaddled in as a baby to the clothes we currently wear. Through continued research, I have learned the neuroscience behind making and viewing artwork. Research has shown that creating (or viewing) art lowers cortisol, lowers blood pressure, and activates our brains natural reward system. Art is healing. My personal process of creating art, journaling about my art process, and sharing this work with others has had a significant positive impact on my own mental health. So, apparently that obsession with fibers that began so many years ago was always leading me to my current studio work, as well as art therapy practice.

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