Shaun Kardinal is yet another artist I have come across through Tumblr. What first caught my eye was his series of photoshopped images of birds, putting them into different imaginative and beautiful formations. However, after looking through his website, I found another series he had created called Alterations (Found and Unfound) from 2013. Found and Unbound is an exhibition featuring artists who repurpose found objects in their work. Kardinal said on his website “originally I was asked to create a small set of embroidered postcards, but after completing a satisfying 42 piece series earlier this year and also wanting to work more with installation, I decided to up the ante a bit.”
In just a few weeks, Kardinal sewed up 66 new postcards, in a single six hour session. The result was a colourful and bold collections of images, all connected by the method of embroidery. He has taken photographs of landscapes and added shapes and designs on top. You can still see the original image underneath, but he creates a whole new perspective by using multiple colours of thread. I particularly like the images where Kardinal has stitched triangles into them. They look like mountains, working with their natural backdrop. In the image directly below, the rows of triangles centre your focus and add layers to the image below. It is almost 3D looking.
I love when Kardinal uses colours that match the colour scheme in the background image. It compliments the photograph by emphasising and exaggerating the colours of the naturally beautiful landscape. Because of the contrast between the flat photograph and the more textured thread, using the same colours means the pattern does not get lost.
For a few of the postcards, I feel the pattern takes away form the image, rather than add to it. For example, in the piece below, the stitched area covers almost the entirety of the photograph. Despite it being an interesting shape, it is too big which means you can’t appreciate the background photograph as much as with other’s in this series. He has used a nice colour scheme, but the pattern seems too complicated for more simple picturesque mountain scene.
I do find the majority of this series beautiful, and wouldn’t mind having one of my own! I find the mixing of different mediums really interesting as it’s add a new layer and surface to the piece. It has inspired me to try this technique myself, and look further into the world of time-consuming and delicate embroidery.
To see more of Shaun’s work visit: http://shaunkardinal.com/
All images from the above website.