Julie Parmenter interviewed embroidery artist Georgina Bellamy - aka That Embroidery Girl - for Selvedge:
Please tell us a bit about the pieces that you’ve chosen for your gallery.
The main installation is probably the most exciting thing I have produced to date and really comes from my love of creating characters and stories with my embroidery. There will be a grumpy frog queen, a wise old mouse and some golden lizard guards to name but a few. For me, embroidery is about fun and wonder and that is really what I want to capture and give back to my audience.
Where do you find inspiration and what is it about goldwork in particular that you enjoy?
My main source of inspiration these days comes from the people I meet, animals I love or the techniques I want to try. Most of my animals are often loosely based on people. It might be a grumpy aunt, a moaning sister or some happy person I met briefly while out. Each one of them can spark an idea that leads to an animal. Animals themselves often inspire me too.
You’ve produced bespoke hand embroidery for many fashion clients including Louis Vuitton. Can you tell us about your favourite commissions?
I will always have a very large soft spot for Sully the tortoise as it was a pet of a very nice lady and I was so very happy with how much she loved it. But overall, I try not to pick out best or worst. I really see my work as a journey that I am on and each project has something to teach me. It’s sometimes the “bad” projects that teach me the most, so I am rarely sorry they happened.
What advice would you give anyone keen to try hand embroidery?
My advice for beginners would differ according to the level you wanted to take your embroidery to. For the hobbyists, get some books and find some good workshops. For the wannabe embroidery professional, my advice would be to invest in an education of the craft, ideally a long course of some kind or a degree that teaches you not just your practical skills but design skills too.
Georgina Bellamy’s exhibition, That Embroidery Girl, is at The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, London from 10 - 13 October 2019 and Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate from 28 November - 1 December 2019.