The Needle Knows – An Exhibition of Contemporary Embroidery
Puerto Vallarta Bajo el Mars
A narrative hand embroidery and applique that largely reflects my travel experiences in Mexico.
Artist Reception and First Tuesday ArtWalk:
* Tuesday, November 7, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
* November 2023
This is an exhibition of narrative hand embroidery and applique that largely reflects my travel experiences in Mexico by Caroline Dahl. I use exclusively DMC cotton floss on muslin. Occasionally I use Kreinik metallic thread for highlights. The show, with a few exceptions, contains work that I do on the road, working as a piano player.
My first interest in making fabric art was quilting. After a couple of years as a quilt maker, I found I liked the feel of embroidery materials better, and I wanted to tell more detailed stories in a smaller format. Also, at that time, I moved from a large apartment in Kentucky to a small room in San Francisco, and I left my quilting frame and other large encumbrances behind.
I remembered that, as a fashion-forward hippie of the 60’s, I loved the embroidery (from Mexico) on several of my blouses, and I wanted to explore that avenue. I was also heavily influenced by the book, Native Funk and Flash ( by Alexandra Jacopetti, Scrimshaw Press 1974). It contains beautiful examples of needlework and otherwise decorated clothing from around the San Francisco area .
Working with my hands is a meditative, introspective process I find comforting, while coming up with images, designing, and working out construction issues is exciting for me. The reflective, solitary nature of embroidery is a perfect foil for the energetic, communal, public act of playing music. I feel like one pursuit enhances the other.
I choose to make mostly humorous, diary-like work, often including text or titles in the pieces, as it seems an accurate reflection of my life, which is very often, just silly….
- Born in Louisville, Kentucky
- BA in English Lit. 1972 University of Kentucky
- First solo trip to India 1972 Began interest in fabrics and textiles
- Began work as a self-taught quilter and embroiderer. Began entering juried shows 1974
- Living in San Francisco, Ca. 1979- present
- Work as a piano player, playing in bands and solo 1981- present
- Play most often with Tom Rigney and Flambeau. Play solo gigs locally and boogie woogie shows in Europe.
- Continue embroidery work. I often take projects on the road with me when I play music.
There is ample street and city parking available around us. Please be sure to observe all posted signs regarding parking and parking meters, and do not park in prohibited spaces or areas.