Harriet Riddell graduated in 2012 from the University of Hertfordshire in England, after studying Contemporary Applied arts. To her classmates’ dismay, Harriet began to fill the silence of the life-drawing room with the “purr” of her sewing machine, where she started to create a collection of observational stitched drawings. And so, InStitchYou was born.
Harriet’s sense of adventure and love of performance took her out of the studio and onto the streets. Setting up in curious places such as cafes, laundrettes and trains she would document her surroundings in stitch. By drawing the characters she meets, conversations she hears and the environment she is in, Harriet documents the here-and-now; fixing the transient world into a stitched tapestry.
Since graduating, Harriet has worked on various projects with her sewing machine around the world. Creating art work for Hong Kong offices, in Chinese factories, muggy jungles, on Himalayan mountains and Spanish sea-scapes.
Her accomplishments to date include:
- Absolut Vodka Designer Award 2012.
- New Designers Award 2013.
- Winston Churchill Portrait Competition (3rd place) sponsored by Arts Thread, Churchill Centre and Pentland Plc.
- Special commissions for Anthropologie, Ted Baker, Speedo, Lacoste, Burghaus and Pentland Hong Kong.
- Documented top Indian fashion designer, Aneeth Arora (Pero) from weavers in the mountains to the Catwalk.
- Self-published a book of stitch adventures around India which is available for sale.
Currently Riddell performs at events recording special days in stitch such as weddings and parties as well as travelling to homes to complete stitched portraits.
Harriet will be making a special appearance in Toronto for KENDALL & Co. Although Harriet has never lived in Canada, she visits as often as she can as most of her family lives in and around Toronto. Harriet’s dear old granny lives in Cabbagetown where she can often be found at The Irv enjoying a deconstructed key lime pie.
Harriet loves to meet new people and enjoys an audience. Please pop on over to KENDALL & Co, at 227 Carlton Street, during their Pay It Forward Festival to witness your portrait in stitches on Sept 6 and 7!
Photo Credit: Varun Sikka