It’s all about the journey. What a great motto for life. And what a vibrant, colourful journey it has been for Cheryl. Her current exhibition is the culmination of a year’s work, inspired by her artistic travels around the country during 2012.
Cheryl is a well-established, internationally recognised artist known for her self-developed technique called Fine Art Freehand Machine Embroidery or FAFME. With this technique Cheryl ‘sketches’ on canvas and paper using a sewing machine, fine cotton thread and her unlimited imagination.
While accompanying her travelling fellowship to every capital city in Australia and New Zealand, Cheryl documented her impressions with sketches and drawings that she later translated into embroideries, paintings and outfits. Each place she visited is represented by an embroidered artwork, depicting her impressions on the day – the outfit she wore, the people she met, and the attractions she visited.
However, Cheryl’s impressions of a place could not be contained in one artwork. It overflowed and inspired vivid dreams that she later expressed in colourful paintings and a series of smaller embroideries.
Cheryl is not only known for her unique style of embroidery but also for her signature, handmade outfits, which are as vivacious and colourful as her personality. She makes all her own clothes and always wears a hat. For each of her travelling shows, she had a purpose made outfit, which is now part of the current exhibition and depicted in both her embroideries and paintings.
What I love about Cheryl is that she does not hide. She lives her art. At this exhibition, as with most others, she works in the gallery, demonstrating her technique to visitors, sharing her ideas and inspirations, and generally lights up the room with her bright personality.
She is not a dark artist. Colour and positive energy are as much part of her work as her love for birds and animals, her ability to tell stories with pictures, and her obvious enjoyment of her craft.