Monday, June 10, 2013

I'm Ready for My Close-up, Mr. DeMille

"I am big, it's the pictures that got small!" -- Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (1950).

Frame 11, 2013.

Oh, you, Ru. I've stitched you on buses, planes and trains. In cafes and bars. With a needle in my vein during a 6-hour infusions of iron. In my own bed and in others. And you are finally ready for your close-up, dear girl.

Frame 11, my first ever x stitch project, is on its way to the magic-artist-ringleader, Aubrey Longley-Cook, in Atlanta, to join its 34 other stitched cellmates in Aubrey's animated short video.

A close-up of Frame 11, 2013.

The video will premiere in Aubrey's gallery show at the Barbara Archer Gallery in September and will screen as a part of the outdoor art installation the Window Project, also this fall.

More to come as Aubrey's bigger project comes together. For now, let me say, this has been a great learning process for me. My stitches are deeply flawed. Reading the chart was harder than I'd realized. My friend Kate, who is the neatest cross stitcher in the world and taught me how to do cross stitch, would be horrified by the back of the piece. 

Frame 20, by Nathan Sharratt, conceptual artist. 

I'm am humbled by the complications of this precise kind of stitching, which I will try again. But for now, I want to get back to building stitches freehand, playing with paint and thread and poetry I found at #BrooklynTweets last week. (More about meeting the artist Iviva Olenick in person, soon!)

Visit Iviva Olenick's blog for more about her artwork.

I feel a bit lost and loose after this project. And a little sad... I'll miss the frame. And I'll miss working with Aubrey, who is a warm, hugely creative soul. 

Ah well.  


  1. Fab Olisa, and what a fantastic opportunity to be part of a bigger work. Thanks for bringing my attention to Aubrey, those animations are quite something, can't wait to see your frame as part of the bigger whole.x

  2. You *have* done well, O! I think it looks great, but I agree, x-stitch is a lot harder than it looks, especially with such a complicated pattern. I'm with you, girl freehand embroidery forevah! I'm really looking forward to seeing how this whole thing comes together, go Ru!

  3. That is definitely a tough pattern. It looks great.

  4. Thank you ALL so much for your incredibly kind, supportive comments! You have no idea how motivating it is to me to hear. Wow! xoxoxox