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a non-profit gallery for the visual and performing arts

2833-A Hathaway Rd., Richmond, VA 23225
in the Stratford Hills Shopping Center

Gallery hours beginning Saturday, January 22, 2022:
Noon to 4pm, Tuesday - Sunday
Free and Open to the Public
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'Strange Plants, Yalta,' embroidery on found photograph, 2020, 9x12.5 inches, by Heather Beardsley

Strange Plants, Yalta, 2020
Embroidery on found photograph
9x12.5 inches

April 22 - May 21, 2022

Heather Beardsley
A Dream of Strange Cities

Embroidery & Mixed Media

Opening Reception: Friday, April 22, 6:00-9:00pm

Artist Talk: Saturday, April 23, 2:00pm

'Strange Plants, Kyiv,' 2020, Collage and embroidery on second hand textile, 9x11 inches, by Heather Beardsley

Strange Plants, Kyiv, 2020
Collage and embroidery on second hand textile
26x28 inches

'Strange Plants, Chicago,' 2020, Embroidery on found photograph, 8.5x12 inches, by Heather Beardsley

Strange Plants, Chicago, 2020
Embroidery on found photograph
8.5x12 inches

Shopping Cart IconHeather Beardsley's art is available for purchase through our online store here

Artist Statement

In 2017 I visited Pripyat, the ghost town closest to the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Over the past thirty years nature that was destroyed by human hubris and incompetence has grown up to dominate the abandoned man-made structures. I began to embroider plants overtaking the people and buildings onto photographs of Budapest, the city I was living in. Since then I have added images to this series with each new city my art has taken me to, including Vienna, Beijing, Chicago, Kyiv and Las Vegas. Although presented in a whimsical fashion, using an intimate scale and a "feminine" craft technique like embroidery, on closer examination the implications of these pieces become more sinister. As plants seemingly grow uncontrollably through the buildings and streets, people are either absent or oblivious to the situation. Viewers are left to wonder about this change in dynamic, what preceded it, and what will prevent it. The resulting works exist in an ambiguous space: a shift in the dynamic has clearly occurred, but nature has fought back and new life has grown from it. I have recently expanded this series by adding architectural imagery and plant embroideries into found embroidery on traditional linens found in flea markets and thrift stores. These linens evoke domesticity and the feeling of home. Yet the apocalyptic imagery depicted on the textiles creates a dissonance which, combined with the absence of actual people in the scene, that raises unsettling questions about what happened to the former residents.


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Page Updated 4/23/2022 10:12:54 AM