Lou Gardiner, is an embroidery artist and illustrator. She graduated from Goldsmith’s College in 1994 with a Textiles BA (Hon’s), and in 2001 completed an MA in Illustration at Manchester Metropolitan University. She now works as a fulltime artist/illustrator and is manager at BICA, Jamaica Street Studios, Bristol.
Louise combines the exciting and intricate medium of free machine embroidery with her passion for drawing and design. She claims to drive a sewing machine like an ’Aston Martin!’ creating figurative, floral and fun pieces of art-work using a combination of intense and intricate stitching, paints and inks. Every work is unique and labour-intensive, planned yet spontaneous. These original and energetic embroideries celebrate the rich medium of thread and illustrate her sensitivity to her surroundings and cheeky sense of humour.
The Embroiderers’ Guild awarded Louise a scholarship for her embroidery in 2005 and she continues to exhibit nationwide. She has been selected for ‘Art of the Stitch,’ ‘ORIGIN’ and the ‘PFAFF’ 2007 Embroidery Awards. Louise regularly works to private commission producing one off bespoke pieces for private residencies across the UK and also large- scale public artworks. Commissions have included ‘The Wacky Races’ for the children’s theatre corridor at The Gloucester Royal Hospital, an interactive ‘Birds of Paradise’ project working with patients at the women’s’ ‘PICU’ secure unit at Blackberry Hill Hospital, Bristol and recently, 23 embroidered illustrations for Saggy Boobs and other Breastfeeding Myths a book to promote breastfeeding which won a parliamentary award and is to be published by Pinter & Martin in the spring of 2009. Louise has also completed several embroidered illustrations for The Guardian, Selvedge magazine, Picador and BBC4.
Louise teaches energetic machine embroidery and drawing workshops at Universities, colleges and Guilds nationwide, most recently at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She aims to promote free-machine embroidery as a rich and cutting edge art form and possibly one day… win ‘The Grand Prix’ on her Bernina.
If you would like to purchase cards or embroidery please contact Louise by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Her website is www.lougardiner.co.uk