LA based artist Michelle Kingdom's growing body of embroidery work builds in both complexity and symbolism.
Kingdom creates impressively intricate and detailed embroidery that focus on depicting whimsical figures and natural flora. Their small scale and intimate composition draws you in to reveal a deeper narrative in the subject matter. It is clear that a key element to Kingdom's work is symbolism as she hides evocative objects within the beauty of each piece. In the work, "Though Poppies Grow" it appears upon first glance to depict an innocent game, yet closer inspection reveals girls wearing machine guns and dresses made of military camouflage. A dark undertone is also apparent in "A Height of Folly" where trapeze artists are equipped with gas masks, bullet sashes, and smoking guns. Kingdom is creating imagery that strikes a cord in today's political climate.
Michelle Kingdom's embroidery work has such a convincing portrayal of light and shadow and careful consideration of colour it speaks to the tradition of painting. She states, "While the work acknowledges the luster and lineage inherent in needlework, I use thread as a sketching tool in order to simultaneously honor and undermine this tradition." It’s her dedication to the perfection of her realistic techniques that allows these works to be so powerful.