A Darker Thread: Eleri Mills

Llygad y ffynnon (The source)

Ink and threads on plastic (detail)

“My instinct has always been to embrace both painting and embroidery traditions without having to conform to either. I feel a huge sense of freedom in this chosen area. While the act of drawing is central to my practice, I delight in the raw beauty of all my materials – whether they are fabric, thread, paint, paper or plastic.

The recent works on plastic challenge me in terms of scale, technique and emotional content. I relish the sense of theatre whilst working on the inked–up sheets of plastic. It is an intensely physical and gestural process – always concerned with balance and rhythm and expressive mark-making. A form of choreography and personal mapmaking which celebrates landscape, language and womanhood.

This is a landscape layered with ambiguous messages, a place with its own distinct edge…”

Eleri Mills was born in Mid-Wales and gained her BA from Manchester Polytechnic in 1977. In 2000 she was made an Elected Member of the Royal Cambrian Academy and was accepted to the honorary order of the Gorsedd white robe at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 2004. She was 2010/11 Winner of the Creative Wales Ambassador Award, Arts Council of Wales.

Eleri Mills has exhibited her work widely across Wales, the UK and internationally and is represented by the Thackeray Gallery in London and Martin Tinney Gallery in Cardiff.

Significant exhibitions have included ‘Window on Wales’, Ruthin Craft Centre 2013; Macy Art Gallery, New York 2012; Art of the Stitch (Birmingham, Krefeld and Budapest tour) 2008; Meaning of the land Interceltic Festival, Lorient, France (Representing Wales) 2002; Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh 2001; Piel de Seda Embroidered Bookbindings Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, Madrid 1998; Museu Textil i d’Indumentaria, Barcelona (Wales in Catalonia Festival) and UK tour 1995; British Needlework National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan 1982.

Her work is held in a number of collections including: Contemporary Art Society for Wales, National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh and Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester

Eleri has also been represented in the SOFA Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art fair in New York and Chicago and the Collect Craft Fair in Saatchi Gallery, London.

She was artist in residence at Sanskriti Kendra, Dehi, and research trip to India supported by Wales Arts International in 2016 and Teachers College, Columbia University, New York in 2012.

Photograhper: Toril Brancher

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