The first time I had a proper look at Eirian Short‘s work was in Len Rees’ Gallery in Bryn Henllan, Dinas. My previous viewings had been rather perfunctory. I liked the colours and the shapes but have always thought of embroidery as potentially a bit dusty. Ceramics can be given a wipe every now and then to keep the colours fresh, paintings and prints will often have glass protection … but what to do with dusty threads? I haven’t really solved the problem yet.
My visit to Len Rees’ gallery, however, has taught the prejudiced and uninformed me that Eirian Short’s work is art. It is surprising and brilliant. After training, teaching, writing for Batsford publications (the best – in my opinion) and gaining national recognition and many commissions, Eirion returned home to Pembrokeshire and has now lived in Dinas for many years. Here are some of her best known works, many of which are now in National Collections.
I love the dark subjects in a medium I has previously associated only with prettiness. But even the more traditionally decorative pieces are startling, brooding and thought provoking.
Embroidery is very closely related to painting. It is constantly changing, with each new style each epoch brings. It is all art and ought to be treated like one. (From “Vom Sticken” Hannah Hoch 1917-1918.)