The Society for Embroidered Work London “S. E. W.”

The Society for Embroidered Work has one aim, Promoting and supporting the best in stitched art worldwide

Founded by UK based textile artists Cat Frampton and Emily Tull in 2018 after a conversation about the inclusion of (or lack of) stitched/embroidered artworks in the art world.

Only once a year S.E.W. accept new members from anywhere in the world applicants are by nomination and then their application goes through a rigorous vetting process and only the most talented are given membership of S.E.W. and are entitled to use the post nominal S.E.W.

In July 2020 Cheryl was very flattered to be successful in being admitted as a member of S.E.W.


Cheryl Bridgart Adv. D. Fine Art, B. Ed. (art), Dip. T. (sec), F.R.S.A.S.A., S.E.W.

As part of the S.E.W. application process Cheryl was asked to in under 500 words describe her : –


I begin with a sketch and notes on paper this gives me the opportunity to modify and finalize the design. The drawing helps me to understand my subject and what I am trying to say. By drawing I think about form, composition, tone, balance, texture, structure and colour. I need this preliminary step as once I start on the sewing machine I cannot undo any mistakes or paint over like a painter would. I keep all of these drawings in a new folio for each year.

My sewing machine is set to straight stitch on zero & feed dogs are down, which is not necessary on my Bernina Q20 as it has no straight stitch, zig zag or feed dogs, although I have a large sewing machine I can and do produce my artworks on a standard domestic sewing machine, none of my sewing machines are computer machines.

I take an unmarked piece of canvas using a pale thread and referring to my drawing I begin freely stitching, making marks and outlines to suggest forms. This drawing in thread or free stitching is spontaneous and exciting. I have never used hoops, as they are restrictive.  I freehand draw with thread only, I do not grid up the canvas, draw on it with any marking devices and I do not use computers, projectors, paint or printing techniques.

My process of making is important as I move the fabric with my hand under the needle I use my eyes & think about the visual narrative I am creating. Simple marks become fluid descriptive lines and capture qualities of my subject. I use varying colours, tones and hatched lines and scribbles to create the illusion of form and bring each piece to life. Utilizing my art studies along with the learning I have gained from years of practice has given me time to develop my skills. For example understanding colour theory & the history of art & Artists such as the Impressionists I create new colours and shades by placing certain colours side by side or mixing on the surface. New colours are optically mixed in the artwork. Hundreds of hours pass by as I stitch intricately detailed works. When finished they are pressed and then stretched over an art frame, hooks & wires are added. Finally they are professionally photographed. They will then are hung, awaiting a life in a new home, or in the case of commissions straight to their new owners.


Artist Statement Please tell us what inspires, motivates you and your artwork.

My art is predominately based on my dreams and life experiences, my art is the way I document my dreams, ideas, feelings and response to circumstances. Drawing is similar to stitching, line is used to record dreams, ideas, people, animals and has been an essential part of my life.

Even as I child I had vivid dreams I did and still do document the dreams with sketches I have a yearly folio/diary and notes.

I think visually, my expression is visual, I am not a writer, and hence my drawings are very precious to me.

These sketches form the basis of my artwork.

I am a prolific artist & I create huge portfolio of work each year these are recorded, photographed and filed each year.

These include portraits, figurative dream like works, garments, hats, bow ties, waistcoats, art to wear, cushions, and paintings.

Recurring themes are faces of people and animals; eyes feature predominantly as do zebras and zebra stripes.

The eyes are windows to the dream world.

 Zebras my favorite animal since childhood (and my good luck symbol) they are naughty, flamboyant, and happy in their own image but no two are the same they are extroverted and playful just like me! They feature frequently in my work even just as zebra stripes.

Birds are also prominent they are colorful, whimsical and unique (even more unique because I make up my own birds), they are free they are creatures of the sky (like dreams) they can fly away and return as depicted in my art series ‘After the Pinery Fire’. My birds are whimsical full of colour, pattern and vibrancy, I love to give my birds and animals an expression and personality it is not just the shape and form it is the expression and personality.

More recently landscapes have featured, we frequently drive through the Adelaide Hills & Mclaren Vale vineyards to Goolwa and up to our farm at Mallala. I watch the seasons change the colours change the textures, the rhythm of nature pass by in stripes. The landscapes frequently feature as background behind or intertwined with faces, birds or animals of my artworks.

I am independent in my life, my inspiration and my art I do not copy other peoples work, I do not copy trends, I do not create art that attempts to make a fashionable political statement. I am driven by getting textile art to be accepted as a high end fine art.

My art reflects me, my existence amongst people, animals, birds and nature but usually in a colorful and surrealist nature.


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