Fine Cell Work: Apprentice Stitcher Sue
Les Fleurs Animees – ChevreFeuille/Honeysuckle
Stranded cotton on wool
Dimensions: 54 x 64 cm
This embroidery is inspired by the famous drawings by caricaturist JJ Grandville. His work was published in France in the 1800s and his published etchings have been interpreted as textiles since the Great Exhibition of 1851 which took place at Crystal Palace. At that time, a renowned embroiderer exhibited the first JJ Granville embroideries. They were presented as part of a legendary tablecloth which eventually came into the possession of Nancy Lancaster, founder of Colefax and Fowler. Les Fleurs Animees illustrations followed on from the Animaux and were published in 1867. This embroidered interpretation of Honeysuckle (La ChevreFeuille) continues the historic tradition of translation of the etchings into decorative textiles.
Fine Cell Work provide stitching materials and teach embroidery and needlework skills to inmates in prison, giving them an activity of interest to pass the time purposefully. Stitching in prison teaches self-discipline, gives a sense of dignity, achievement and fullfilment and importantly passes on knowledge of traditional embroidery techniques. Through stitching with Fine Cell Work, stitchers can earn some money and the skills gained can help them to find employment after release. Fine Cell Work’s prison groups are supplemented by the workshop in South London which enables further training in machine stitching and machine embroidery to help reduce re-offending.