EPISODE FIFTEEN:: Kylie Norton - Embroidery Artist - Exploring Intersectional Feminist Theory, Menstruation, and Indigenous Culture and Traditions

The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

Kylie Norton is an embroidery artist from the south island of New Zealand, who presently lives in Melbourne. She makes large scale embroidery with wool yarns, one piece takes her 4 to 5 months to make. Kylie goes through an incredibly time intensive process of cutting up the yarn and re-raveling it together to get the colours she wants.  Taught by her mum to cross stitch with kits as a kid, she experimented with colour blending and learnt how to re-ravel yarns to get a more full colour palette to work with. 

Kylie found her way into large scale fibre art rather recently, after earning her masters in Art History and wondering how to apply some of what she'd learnt there to her art practice. She searched for a while and couldn't find anything like what she imagined, so she just figured she'd try it herself. A friend of hers with excellent taste wanted to buy it, so she decided to continue pursuing these large scale embroidery pieces. 

We speak about how she uses her art history background in her fibre art - specifically indigenous culture and women and menstruation. Her work is about how different cultures celebrate (or do not celebrate) women's cycles and she's continuing to explore themes around this intersectional space Growing up in New Zealand, indigenous culture was celebrated and taught in school, and she found that it was very much a part of her life. We compare and contrast Australia, the US, and Canada and how these communities have emphasised or de-emphasised Indigenous culture and knowledge.

Kylie has loved how the fibre arts community has been inclusive and open to her and we chat about her inspiration in the community. 

Kylie's Biggest Bit of Advice

"don't ever doubt your own skill...[and] don't let anyone belitte you...if it's a serious art form for you, then let it be. Give it a go and see what happens - the worst is it doesn't work out, which is not a big deal" 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

  • Louise Jones - draws illustrations and stitches onto paper and stitches directly onto high fashion magazines 
  • Suzanna Scott  - fibre artist creating vaginas and vulvas out of fabric. 
  • Danielle Clough - embroidery artist using interesting objects to stitch onto 
  • Australian Tapestry Workshop - massive group collaborative weaving projects 
  • Craft Victoria - excellent resource for VIC based crafts people. 

Find Kylie: instagram 

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