Teelah George is no stranger to repetition. Her embroideries are shimmering fields of colour, built up stitch by stitch over many long hours. Despite the time taken to make them, they often feel like drawings, with the stitches forming drifts of tiny lines across the linen.
In one new large-scale embroidery, George has introduced a new element of repetition. Black and white stripes fall vertically down the cloth, though they are more like rivulets than neat bars. They are optically confusing. There is no easy foreground or background to latch onto, and the blacks fluctuate in intensity, dissolving into deep greens and maroons.
George does not like to plan or compose her works. She prefers to work intuitively, responding to the materials and the moment. In this new striped work, each line seems to build on and react to the one before. There is a sense of layering and accumulation, pulled taut by the brass plates suspended from the base of the work. “A lot of what that has to do with is weight and gravity, both physical and also metaphorical as well,” she says.
Full story in the print edition of Art Collector, Issue 89, July-September 2019. Portrait photo by Bianca Woolhouse.