This week we got a chance to chat with UK based Lou Trigg, author of ‘the invisible woman – and how she got there’. Lou’s book stood out from the crowd when we saw that her illustrations weren’t just any typical drawings – they’re what Lou calls “stitchures”, i.e. sewn pictures. Not only are the pictures sewn – the words are too! Here’s Lou’s story:
Why do you do what you do and where do you find inspiration?
I have only fairly recently discovered my love of the sewing machine and in particular, using it for freehand machine embroidery and I love it. It’s a medium that works for me; it doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’ (I cant do perfect!) and it isn’t meant to be perfect – but I love the idea of the thread seemingly having a life of its own. I purposely leave threads hanging loose which tend to give the stitchures more of a tactile sense of emotion.
Much of my work is personal; in fact the work that I consider to be the best and most powerful is based on my history. I have all of my old diaries from my childhood to my 20’s as well as my old poetry (see my other book ‘old tales of love and desire’) which all inspire me to stitch my past. I also admire Tracey Emin for all of her personal works that are put ‘out there’ into the public forum and I see now how difficult, but necessary as an artist, that is. I love too the fact that she uses many different styles of media in order to express herself and be an artist. I can relate to that and to her history too.
What is your favorite childhood book?
Definitely Winnie the Pooh!
How did you begin making stitchures?
I did a one day course about 18 months ago in freehand machine embroidery and finally, in my 50’s, found my voice. From a shaky start and with much practice, I began to use humour and emotion to stitch stories and pictures.
What were some of the highlights of making your book?
The book came from the sewn work and then the film all of which were the culmination of my MA exhibition at Brighton University. I enjoyed seeing the book as a culmination of all of my work for this project and realizing that someone might want to buy it – and people have!
If you could bestow one bookmaking tip on the world, what would it be?
Take your time and don’t rush it!
A big thanks to Lou for taking the time to chat with us from across the pond. Check back next week for our next installment of Take 5 Tuesday and in the meantime, check out more of Lou’s work here and here.