| Art in the Frame > Artists > Louise Gardiner
Louise Gardiner, established British artist and illustrator, grew up on a Dairy farm in Styal, Cheshire. She has created a world of weird and wonderful characters and creatures in order to make us laugh. Louise and her embroideries have entertained a wide variety of people at exhibitions and talks nationwide resulting in a 'longer than planned' career as a 'modern embroideress.' She has helped push this niche art form in new directions and has continuously promoted stitch as an exciting, rich medium, with strong associations with drawing and our cultural heritage.
After an art foundation at Manchester Metropolitan University, Louise then graduated from Goldsmith's College, London with a Textiles BA (Hons) 1994 and later in 2001 she completed an MA Illustration back at Manchester Met. After yo-yoing between the big smoke and the North West, Louise secured a studio in Bristol, enabling her to develop larger scale, more ambitious projects and work full-time in an artistic community.
She has developed a widely diverse and interesting portfolio, showing evidence of growing creative confidence, successful projects in the community, variety and emotional maturity. Her work is ever developing and she hopes to create work, which will enhance our environment, bring happiness and push her own creative boundaries.
Louise combines the exciting and intricate medium of free machine embroidery with her passion for drawing and says she can drive a sewing machine like an 'Aston Martin'! She creates figurative, floral and fabulous one off pieces of artwork using a combination of rhythmic drawing, intense and intricate free machine stitches, paints, appliqué and inks. Every work is unique and labor-intensive, planned yet spontaneous. These original and energetic embroideries celebrate the rich and colour rich medium of thread and illustrate her sensitivity to her surroundings, lust for life 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 recently, the 'PFAFF' Embroidery awards, the best show cases in this field. Louise regularly works to private commission producing one off bespoke pieces across the UK for a variety of clients. She has completed several large scale public commissions including 'The Wacky Races' for 'The Gloucester Royal Hospital' and an interactive project 'Birds of Paradise', working with the women's 'PIC' Unit at Blackberry Hill, Bristol.
Louise has completed many embroidered illustrations for books and editorial, including The Guardian, Selvedge magazine, the Welsh Women's Press and BBC4. In 2008 she received a Parliamentary award for the embroidered book 'Saggy Boobs'to promote breast-feeding in the UK and at last in 2009 'Woodmansterne' published Louise's work as a range of greetings cards.
Louise teaches and speaks about energetic machine embroidery at Universities, Colleges and Guilds worldwide. She has a reputation as a lively and passionate speaker. Her aim is to promote free-machine embroidery as a rich and cutting edge medium, to push her own creative boundaries and possibly one day ... win 'The Grand Prix' on her Bernina.