Icelandic artist James Merry

Embroidery {click}

What do you love about embroidery?
I love the pace and focus and control of hand embroidery. It slows you down. It zooms you into a really precise point of focus, which can be very therapeutic if you have an otherwise quite large and busy life. And the portability of it—I can fit everything I need in my backpack and work on stuff while I’m on flights or watching TV. And then I love the wearability of the end product—they’re not stuck in a picture frame on a wall, you can wear them and bend them and put them in the washing machine when they get dirty. I love that aspect of it.

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Where did the idea come from for your new sportswear series?
At the start of this year, I had been stuck in New York for a bit longer than I am usually comfortable with. I was really missing Iceland and being in the countryside, so I guess it was some kind of silent protest of mine—to take something that was super urban and machine-made and barren (my old Nike sweater), and fertilize it, forcing it to flower by embroidering a glacier flower and moss on it. I guess these embroideries are similar to the drawings in Anatomies, in that they both focus on a very particular point of transformation—the moment when one thing turns into something else. I’m obsessed with that.

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