Saturday, April 13, 2024

Francine LeClercq Stitches Thousands of Pixels from Digital Surveillance Footage in Meticulous Embroideries

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Art Craft

#cross-stitch #embroidery #fiber art #Francine LeClercq #surveillance

A cross-stitch embroidery composition in gray scale featuring a still from a surveillance video of a young person walking their bike at night.

“Bike,” cross-stitch embroidery, 24 x 48 inches. All images © Francine LeClercq, shared with permission

Analogous to pixels, the tight grid of cross-stitch serves as a fitting canvas for translating digital footage to a handcrafted form. New York City-based artist Francine LeClercq’s embroideries of surveillance imagery capture the tell-tale date and time stamps and grainy black-and-white pictures in intricately detailed, monochrome compositions.

Embroidery has long been linked to domesticity, usually created at home for the home as embellished handkerchiefs, tablecloths, wall decorations, or gifts. Cross-stitch is often associated with samplers, which makers—historically women—would create to demonstrate their needlework skill by stitching motifs like the alphabet, figures, their own names, and decorative borders.

LeClercq abruptly challenges this affiliation with comfort and home by using imagery from CCTV cameras, measures that businesses and law enforcement—and increasingly homeowners—employ under the guise of crime reduction. The artist taps into the pervasive monitoring that is ostensibly marketed as a security measure, yet instills its own brand of anxiety or hyper-awareness.

Through hand-stitched scenes that portray wide-angle overviews of city streets, LeClerqc captures innocuous instances of people crossing the street or standing next to a parked car. She often weaves long threads throughout the composition that imitate the crackled pattern of a frozen video feed. Tens of thousands of stitches go into each piece, distilling 1/24-second clips into meticulously crafted meditations on society’s growing obsession with observation.

Find more on the artist’s website and Instagram.

Detail of a cross-stitch embroidery composition in gray scale featuring a still from a surveillance video of a young person walking their bike at night.

Detail of “Bike”

A cross-stitch embroidery composition in gray scale featuring a still from a surveillance video of a figure walking across a parking lot.

“DC8,” cross-stitch embroidery, 24 x 48 inches

a detailed oblique view of hundreds of cross stitches with thread running through some of them

Detail of “DC8”

a cross-stitch embroidery composition in gray scale featuring a still from a surveillance video of a car parked under some trees

“SIKKEMA,” cross-stitch embroidery, 24 x 48 inches

A cross-stitch embroidery composition in gray scale featuring a still from a surveillance video of a person standing next to a car

Detail of “SIKKEMA”

a detail of a cross-stitch embroidery composition in gray scale featuring a still from a surveillance video

Detail of “SIKKEMA”

#cross-stitch #embroidery #fiber art #Francine LeClercq #surveillance

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