Untitled [Embroidery Sampler]
Ngarita Johnstone, 1947, Embroidery on Linen with cotton, silk and wool threads. UC/MBL/2240
Completed in just her second year of study, Ngarita Johnstone’s Embroidery Sampler is an example of the various techniques that she learned in a short space of time. Arranged in a series of squares and rectangles, the sampler demonstrates a variety of stitches and patterns, including triangles, diamonds, checkerboards and flowers. Along the bottom of the sampler is a decorative series of lions rearing on their hind legs, similar to that which can be seen on the Scottish flag. These have been completed in a style similar to that seen in Johnstone’s later Assisi patterns, which can be found in the Macmillan Brown Collection also. These patterns leave the main shapes unsewn but outlined, with the background filled in with colour. In an interview, Johnstone recalled the time-consuming nature of studying embroidery, and the atmosphere of the class where everyone chatted while working – something that thoroughly annoyed their tutor, Ivy Fife.
Ngarita Johnstone : A selection of artworks
Click on the thumbnails to discover more about this striking selection of artworks by Ngarita Johnstone. Images selected and written about by Alice Tappenden.