For There She Was

Fibre artist Michele Landel creates intensely textured and airy collages using burned, quilted, and embroidered photographs and paper to explore the themes of exposure, absence, and memory.

The title of her current series, For There She Was, comes from the last line of Virginia Woolf ‘s “Mrs Dalloway” and includes over a hundred embroidered, burned, dyed and collaged images. The series emerged from thinking about all the women who are currently speaking out about their pain and trauma and are refusing to go away.

To summarize this moment, Michele Landel brewed natural dyes in her kitchen using organic materials and then dyed small scraps of fabric (a cloth baby diaper, an antique tablecloth, a stained tea towel…) to represent the physicality of womanhood and gender roles. She matched the fabrics with small paper dolls that are actually digitally edited photographs from clothing catalogues to show the commodification and manipulation of women’s stories. To deliberately erase the women, she burned holes in the photographs and repeatedly stitched over their faces and bodies. Yet the women are still there. Their presence is even stronger.

Michele recently won the "Innovation In Technique Award" from the Surface Design Association for her series, “Family Matters.” She lives and works in Sèvres, France and out of her art studio in the Paris 9th arrondissement. You can see more of her work on her website ( and on Instagram (@michelelandel).

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