Embroidery Artist Weaves Memes with Modern Feminism

English embroidery artist Hannah Hill's sharp work has us in stitches.

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04 October 2016, 3:10pm

Images courtesy the artist

Though it may seem unorthodox, the meme has become the dominant mode of cultural exchange, be it to voice discontentment, highlight the paradoxical nature of contemporary culture, or simply reminisce. In a series of embroidered illustrations, English artist Hannah Hill, a.k.a., Hanecdote, merges an age-old art form with modern day meme culture to address contemporary social issues.

In one of her more recent pieces, which quickly achieved virality, the artist appropriated an Arthur's Fist meme to drag those who have historically dismissed embroidery as 'women's work,' and not what it is, an art form. The image bears the cartoon aardvark clenching his fist around a sewing needle.

Hill tells The Creators Project that she chose this particular meme because almost every example of it on the internet made her laugh. “I was in a rut emotionally and wanted to make a tongue in cheek embroidery which I could complete in a relatively short time frame compared to my larger, more detailed work.”

Whereas other embroidery artists strive for realism, Hill’s work is much more illustrative. The 21-year-old says she’s been working in embroidery for the last four years. As she  began to develop her skills, she started to learn more about the history of needlework and how it wasn’t regarded as highly as painting or sculpture because it was a domestic hobby for housewives to do behind closed doors. “This stereotype is clearly outdated, but I find strength in being able to express myself creatively, through a medium with this history,” she tells the Creators Project.

For more work by Hanecdote, head over to her website.

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