Mandy Forbes is an embroidery artist and writer from Hamilton, Ontario. She has been creating art with a needle and thread for over ten years and has exhibited her work throughout Ontario Her work often combines needlework with found images and materials to create sculptures and two-dimensional pieces that are playful, nostalgic and story driven. Her most recent work revolves around a fictional motel where the rooms are occupied by an unusual assortment of guests. Mandy currently lives and stitches in London, Ontario.
The ‘Motel Series’ is an ongoing body of work that was first inspired by my personal collection of vintage motel postcards. These postcards depict rooms in a number of different motels from the 1960’s and 1970’s, but I am using them as inspiration to create rooms in a solitary fictional motel where the guests enter, but never check out. I am interested in the process of transforming these commercial, disposable postcard images into something lasting, and deeply personal. The motel room images are first printed onto linen, and then, through a variety of needlework techniques including hand embroidery, couching, and tulle applique, I embellish these spaces with the images of ghostly figures caught in frozen moments as they perform private, and often unusual, activities. Drawing with thread is a slow and meditative process that allows for plenty of time to contemplate these static environments, and to imagine all of the people who may have spent time in them and all of the silent memories that exist inside of those rented spaces. The nostalgia inherent in these old postcards also serves to amplify the sense of memory and dreamscape that I seek to evoke with each piece. Sometimes the memories are fun and playful, other times they are darker, even unsettling.
Game, Set, Match
linen, cotton thread, tulle, printed vintage postcard