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Cheryl Bridgart

My art practice has had 2 phases.  I left art school and taught myself embroidery and eventually won the national art competition ‘Dreamtime’ open to all mediums in Darling Harbour. The Australian Arts Council, Tourism Australia & Qantas, sponsored this. As a result this opened up enormous opportunities internationally especially in UK and the USA.

Unfortunately on the return from one of my trips to UK It became obvious that I had to give up my professional art career.  For the next 10 years I taught art and created part time.  In 2010 I returned to full time art determined to finish my dream. I am now full-time professional, dedicated prolific artist. Trained in fine art I draw, paint, design and create museum quality Art-to-Wear clothing, but I am best known for my self-taught skill of fine art machine embroidering.

I have taught and exhibited on every continent and have works in collections in UK, USA, Switzerland, Russia, Japan, Vietnam, and throughout Australasia. I set myself a challenge early in my career never to use projectors printers, cameras or computers and this has enabled me to spontaneously create my artworks in front of a live audience.  In 2012 I travelled to every state of Australia and NZ (twice) and embroidered live in front of audiences numbering in the thousands at each event. In 2019 I embroidered a portrait of His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC in front of a live audience whilst being filmed for television, which he purchased. I have now embroidered several well known SA identities live in front of an audience (Ian Henschke, Amanda Pepe, Rachel Sanderson).

I have been drawing, painting and stitching all my life but I feel nothing compares to the tactile detail and distinctive surface of embroidery. I have developed my own unique technique of Freehand Machine Embroidery.  My hand moves unmarked fabric, washed cotton paper or canvas under the needle of a domestic sewing machine. Hundreds of hours hatching, cross hatching and scribbling to build up my stories in detailed images, creating space, depth and meaning. I have a new solo every year in my studio gallery (my converted horse stables in Adelaide CBD) and I usually get nearly 200 people to my openings and over 1000 to the exhibition.  I sell about one artwork a week and have for 10 years. I only wear embroidered hats, coats and garments that I design and craft.

Entering a new career phase I have purchased a long arm sewing machine, which has meant I can free stitch & create much larger artwork faster, with time for more experimental contemporary textile art.