janet grau

I'll Fly Away

I’ll Fly Away

Long-term process (photography and embroidery), ongoing since 2012

Endless hours invested in one piece. Cross-stitch embroidery as an extravagant (and absurd) way of reproducing images.

The process is complex, multi-layered and extremely time-consuming—but that‘s the point. It‘s about time, and it‘s also about stepping back from the photographs. There’s also a play on perception: I experiment with the level of detail and the accuracy of the colors, until someone who knows the original photo can immediately recognize it as the embroidered version, while for others, the original remains obscure.

I transform selected old family photos into simplified pixel designs, reduce the number of colors from millions to a random number (like 27 or 56 or 84), match these to the colors of the embroidery floss, and work systematically with very complex patterns. All of this contrasts sharply with the content of the images, which always depict a single moment – a fraction of a second.

For me, the embroidered images are more like objects that document a process. 

As part of the exhibition entsprechend / Salon 7 at Galerie Ursula Walter in Dresden, I showed the work in progress from February 24 to March 16, 2024. On the opening night I continued to work on the latest piece as a kind of ‘work-in-progress as performance’.

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