NOT WRITTEN BY ME
Rumour has it that Adam and Eve had been wandering around in their birthday suits for quite a while before they realised that a bit of modesty might be in order. So, they grabbed a few fig leaves (and possibly a sharp twig), started sewing, and inadvertently set in motion a chain of events that rippled through the strands of time and brought you, dear reader, to this very website at this exact moment.
The threads that link the ancient and the modern are an excellent starting point to describe the work of Cape Town based artist, Danielle Clough (Yes, there are two sewing references in that one sentence and no, we do not think it is overkill). Danielle’s colourful, delicate embroidery celebrates the joining of the old with the new in a wistful and playful manner that is thoroughly modern in approach, yet nostalgic at heart. She utilises a craft that is perceived as archaic but takes inspiration from current pop culture icons and the timeless beauty of nature. Her choice of materials also reflects this fascination with time and her vibrant picture-scapes are just as likely to adorn a vintage tennis racquet as they are a rusty chain link fence or a brand-new pair of Gucci sneakers.
This anachronistic approach to art is reflected in Danielle’s previous medium of choice, live visuals. As a VJ (which is not what you think) she repurposed old video footage to create experimental audio reactive visuals for live music events. Using the stage name Fiancé Knowles, Danielle has performed with fellow South African artists such as Haezer, PH Fat, and Hugh Masekela as well as several internationals acts including the Allah Las, Mick Jenkins, Cid Rim, Soulection, The Black Lips and Black Sun Empire. Her work graced the screens at some of the best music events in South Africa like Rocking the Daisies, Grietfest, Synergy, CTEMF, and NuWorld Fest.
Danielle learned the ins and outs of creative expression at The Red and Yellow School where she studied art direction and graphic design. She then began her career as an artist in the fields of visual art, digital design, and the making of bright fluffy things.
When she is not poking sharp objects into other objects Danielle enjoys expanding her artistic horizons and has hosted a show on Assembly Radio, created custom book covers, and worked as contributing photographer to several local and international publications. She has also stepped into the realm of education with online classes and real-world workshops to help aspiring embroiderers learn and appreciate the craft. Danielle spends her free time biking around Cape Town or enjoying an evening drink from the sunroom of her seaside home.
A lot of rather fancy people have enjoyed Danielle’s work (none as fancy as you though). She has been profiled by Instagram, Colossal, CNN, Vogue.com. Beautiful Bizarre, Hi-Fructose and the Creators Project, and has been published in the New York Times, Casa de Jardim, Hemslöjd, Evening Standard, Inspirations and Homespun amongst others. Her work has caught the attention of prominent clients such as Gucci, Adobe, The African Innovation Foundation, the United Nations, Origins, Nike, Kanye West, and Drew Barrymore.
For Danielle, her creative goal is to express the best of human emotion through art, and for each and every stitch to mark the passing of time spent with love and care. If her work evokes the slightest bit of happiness in you, then her intention has been achieved, and her gratitude is intertwined with your joy in a tapestry so radiant that all the colours in the galaxy could not do it justice.
Sew far sew good.