Fragile Framework

Australian artist Meredith Woolnough finds endless inspiration in the natural world; her intricate openwork embroidery sculptures are an attempt to mimic its beauty and fragility. “I try to get out into nature as much as I can as a type of ‘fieldwork’ to inspire my designs. I go for regular bushwalks around my local area, and I scuba dive whenever I can,” she told the website “I am fascinated by the patterns and structures found within the growth systems of plants, coral and shells – the way things branch out and unfurl.”

Woolnough machine stitches her pieces onto a water-soluble nonwoven fabric that she says was originally used in the medical industry to make dissolvable laundry bags for soiled surgery gowns. When she’s finished sewing, she simply runs the work under hot water to get rid of the underlying material. “I need to make sure that all of my stitches are connected, so that when I wash away the base fabric, it doesn’t just all unravel and turn into a big mess,” she explains. The finished pieces are suspended with pins to create added dimension. Woolnough’s works have been purchased in private and corporate collections around the world.