Subversive Stitchers

As a follow up to the review of The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine by Rozsika Parker I’ve collected a list of a few contemporary embroiders who I believe embody the ideals of being a “subversive stitcher”.


Sophia Narrett.


Sophia Narrett is a Brooklyn based embroidery artist. Narrett’s embroidery invokes erotic images to convey different feelings associated with “love”. One thing I love about Narrett’s work is how it defies the “logistical” nature of embroidery, and does not appear displayed in an embroidery hoop or canvas. Instead the pieces are free. The freeness of Narrett’s work makes it appear vulnerable, and/or delicate. As if accidently touching the work could cause it all to fall apart. However, her strong sexual imagery (often depicting female pleasure) reassures the viewer of capable her work is to be displayed freely on its own.

"The work that interests me most does often tend to be narrative and erotic in some way. I’m fascinated by other people’s relationships to fantasy. I find it compelling when a work exudes a spirit of vulnerability, strangeness, and generosity."

-Sophia Narrett

Jenny Hart.

Jenny Hart is a Los Angeles based embroidery artist and founder of Sublime Stitching. Hart’s embroideries are colorful, feminine, and whimsical…but that doesn’t mean her work isn’t powerful. In her piece This Work Never Ends Hart mixes traditional embroidery motifs with unexpected colors and contemporary art motifs (the eyes, handwriting) to make a powerful statement on embroidery and the feminine.

Libby Simpson. @ohmygollyembroidery

Libby Simpson is an embroidery artist based in Peterborough, England. Simpson is like your older punk sister of the embroidery world aka Simpson is one badass subversive stitcher. I first stumbled across Simpson after she started the #stitchittotrump in the wake of Trump visiting the UK. Simpson’s work is simple and she usually only uses black thread. However, the simplicity of her work helps convey her messages. Simpson’s work is political because being female is political.

Hannah Hill. @hanecdote

Hannah Hill is an embroidery artist based in London. Hill gained a following on social media after her version of the Arthur meme went viral. Hill’s work is aesthetically hip and young just like Hill herself. Hill’s work is also body positive, sex positive and feminist as it often calls out archaic thinking and practices.  

“I really like the juxtaposition of things. The medium is very much thought to be dainty, pretty, delicate, soft, all of these things. There's great embroidery that fits into that category. But I enjoy playing. Also, a lot of my work is autobiographical. I guess it just so happens that my work kind of contradicts, or doesn't fit exactly with the medium.”

-Hannah Hill

Ellen KuntzComment