Please pause for a moment to let today’s creative feminist’s (@bitsandboobs_) words weave through, in and around you, for each sentence teaches a lesson about self-love, feminism, body positivity and stitching a middle finger up at the patriarchy!
1. Hiya! I’m Louise, a 24 year old image maker and embroiderer from Stoke-On-Trent.
2. I actually stumbled upon embroidery by accident. I studied fashion image making and styling at the University of Salford so it’s always been my intention to pursue a career in that field but I got into embroidery completely by chance as part of a photographic project which I based on self love and my own body image hang ups. During the project, I had to create things to sell at a pop up event and I just started to stitch tits onto t-shirts, as ya do. People loved them on the night of the event and because of that my confidence just grew and I kinda ran with the idea to create art which hopefully girls can relate to.
3. Women inspire me, as broad as that may sound. My mum, my sister and my close friends but I also need to include myself in that list, first and foremost. I spent the majority of my teenage and early adult life not having the greatest relationship with my body and that’s always had a knock on effect on my self esteem, how I think and how I view the world. When I got into embroidery, I naturally gravitated towards stitching the female form in a way which I see it. The softer shapes, the angles which aren’t praised in the media, the areas which get the disapproving looks. The beauty is there, even on the days where I myself can’t recognise it, I know it’s there and I love the freedom that embroidery gives me to create my truth. I can stitch here, there and everywhere. My designs are slightly wonky, but that’s the beauty of it as well as the intention, because so are our bodies and if I can bring some comfort or representation to at least one person, then I know that pursuing this idea is more than good enough for me.
4. For me, being a creative feminist means confronting stereotypes, especially with my chosen practice of embroidery being viewed historically as a typical feminine skill. I like to think stitching the body shapes I do is kind of like sticking a middle finger up to the idea that we as women should conform to a certain physical idea in order to be successful, liked or loved. I personally find that rebellion quite empowering… it’s definitely a maaaajor factor in what fuels my creativity.
The first time I read Louise’s responses I had goosebumps and the same feeling can be said of the second, third and (today) fourth re-read. I am in complete awe of this incredible creative feminist and the honesty, integrity and truth that goes into each piece of work she embroiders. With each boob Louise stitches, she sews a thread of feminism out into the world, whilst also taking ownership and re-defining what it means to be an embroidering artist in today’s society. My words do not give justice to Louise’s empowering practice, so instead please show her a warm welcome to our community by following her page @bitsandboobs_ and by commenting your love below. Thank you for stitching such truth Louise.