"Mardi Gras" Part of Art Month Sydney 2015.
Robert has made dozens of tapestries using an embroidery running stitch, and does not embroider by numbers or with shop patterns. Starting with a straightforward geometric design, he works the canvas according to a pre-ordained conception. More complex designs are sewn onto the canvas using the needle as a pencil. Only extremely intricate sections of a canvas need the technique of a muralist, where the original is transferred, again with needle and thread, from a small grid on paper to the larger canvas.
Robert developed his tapestry themes by first having a vague conception of what he wanted to create and then by building up the whole tapestry gradually, in order to avoid the tiring, blinding counting of stitches using a commercial design. In this way, embroidery’s glum reputation can be removed from the world of fussy, old maids’ pretty-pretty patterns to a genuine, gender-free art form. It may also help if, instead of roses, puppies and pretty bridges, themes reveal surprises, unexpected juxtapositions and, of course, good old erotica.