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Crude Cross Stitch: Porn by Numbers

When you think of cross stitching, usually images of elderly women, sat about peering through magnifying lenses to create intricate pictures of flowers or postcard scenes comes to mind…definitely NOT porn.


Well be prepared to gasp in shock (or have a good giggle) at artist Leah Emery’s version of the humble craft which dates back centuries.

Referring to it as “Smut through the very beautiful means of traditional craftwork”, Emery has been known to sell pieces for thousands of dollars, with the smutty stitches also being collected by a surprising wide variety of people.

Artist Leah Emery has been cross stitching scenes of hard core pornography for years after getting the idea to cross stitch porn when coming across an explicit spam email or two sent to her work email account (she’d have a field day with one our accounts at Sextoys HQ!).

“I’d never cross-stitched before, so my very first cross-stitch was a cross-stitch of a hard-core pornographic scene,” says Emery. “I realised there are a few other friends of mine that cross-stitch, and so we would end up getting together on the weekends and stitching.”

“They might have been stitching birthday presents for their grandmother while I was stitching my porn scenes.”

Emery takes enjoyment in being able to bring real and often private emotions to her pieces.

“[They’re] just human beings in the throes of carnality,” says Ms Emery. “It can sometimes be quite confronting and twisted and sweaty and hairy… I really enjoy depicting those real moments.”

But creating enough work to put together an exhibition can take thousands of hours before showing to the general public. Emery has experienced mixed feedback from her works but remains true to the core meaning of the stitched pieces, saying that her art is just a portrayal of human emotion that often doesn’t get discussed.

“I just like the idea of contributing to a healthy sexual debate,” says Emery. “I think we could all have a much healthier understanding and approach to topics of a sexual nature if we talk about it a little bit more.”

However, controversy aside, the Brisbane based artist is in a very fortunate position in that she’s able to instantly cultivate audience interest in her works through the use of two words: ‘cross-stitch porn’. But beneath this hook, there is a far more creative and complex process of blending back-street smut with an artistic medium usually associated with depictions of cats, flowers and country cottages.

Regardless of the deeper meaning or debate provoking message, we love these pieces purely from an aesthetic point of view…

 

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