With a love for drawing, but inhibited by preconceived ideas, Julie Heaton uses her sewing machine to make free machine embroidered images that can’t be corrected; errors become part of the work.
The inspiration for the process began following a family tragedy when Julie had to rebuild a new life for her family and herself. Art became a way to make sense of a world that she had unintentionally become part of. Difficult emotions were explored and control became important, but through her art, she soon discovered that the greatest strength and beauty could come from the things that went wrong.
With meticulous attention to detail, thread is obsessively stitched over and over, colours are changed and tensions are altered to create the perfect image. Dissolvable fabric forms the base of the work and, during the last stage, is removed with water. And it is here that the intense effort used to control the making can become lost. The work is pinned flat and left to dry but nothing is guaranteed as the work takes on its own direction; this is the part that excites and encourages Julie to make her art.