‘Georgie Meadows: Stitched drawings’ brings together 20 textile artworks that explore personal experiences of ageing and dementia. Meadows, a Monmouth-based artist and occupational therapist, crafts uniquely affecting and compassionate portraits, translating line drawings of people she knows or has cared for into stitched works.
Using a domestic sewing machine to sew through two pieces of cloth, separated by wadding, Meadows creates delicate pieces whose tangled threads are both a metaphor for the scrambling of neural connections during degenerative illness and a tender and tactile form of portraiture. The works present a collision of tight-knotted threads and loose stuffing, of softness and jagged edges.
Meadows' concern with the primacy of visual communication in the act of caring, when logic and speech are often elusive, gives the portraits a meditative empathy; the confusions of illness are set beside the kindness held in the simple and reflective acts of looking and seeing.
Short stories that accompany the artist's works movingly outline the daily challenges and triumphs of her sitters: a woman finds people assume her to be grumpy since losing her teeth; the success of a man's day is measured by dressing himself; a woman is hungry but her brain will no longer tell her how to eat. Meadows' works are a testament to courage and resilience in the face of a loss of control and identity.
James Peto, Chief Curator at Wellcome Collection, says: "Georgie Meadows has made a remarkable collection of beautifully crafted images. Her stitched drawings are direct and deeply moving but also fulfil the more practical purpose the artist had in mind when making them - as teaching aids for helping others to understand some of the particular concerns that need to be addressed when working with the elderly."
'Georgie Meadows: Stitched drawings' runs from 18 October to 11 November 2012 at Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, NW1 2BE. A film, 'Thursday Afternoons', by Barry Lewis (featuring members of the Monmouth community the artist lives and works with), will play as part of the display.