Fine Threads: Bunka Embroidery by MaryLee Chisholm-Morgan

An embroidered image of a forested bridgeStone Bridge

MaryLee Chisholm-Morgan is an artist specializing in Bunka, a traditional Japanese form of embroidery in which complex images are embroidered in fine threads so the finished product looks like an oil painting from a distance. MaryLee’s expertise in this unusual medium allows her to create incredibly detailed and realistic scenes that are fascinatingly tactile and delicate. 

An embroidered artwork with birds and flowersThe Birds and the Bee


In her artistic practice, MaryLee produces landscapes as well as still-life scenes and patterns on negative space. I really like MaryLee’s landscape embroidery -- looking at each of these pieces I’m astonished at the amount of work that must have gone into embroidering the entire surface of the picture plane, creating detail right up to the edges of the frame. 


In MaryLee’s Shades of Purple gallery, the artist showcases more experimentation with colour and aesthetics, producing a series of landscapes that are still realistic while embracing a touch of dreamlike surrealism. The soft lavender tones in these works are fantasy-like, but also just realistic enough to suggest twilight or dusk.

An embroidered artwork of a cityscape with a purple skyLavender City

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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