My aunt, Ann Goodstein, loved textiles. She loved beautiful clothes, fine table linen, antique furniture. She was a medievalist. She collected porcelain. She was more stylish and elegant than anyone else I knew. She inspired my love of cloth and of beautiful things. She died, far too young, aged 46, when I was 17 but has had an enduring influence on my life. As I am now in my 40s, her death so young has become even more poignant and I wanted to remember and celebrate her through textiles which she so loved.
There is a long tradition of pincushions being given as gifts of celebration and of remembrance. This series of pincushions celebrate her vibrancy, her love of luxury, her appreciation of beauty, her love of history and things with stories to tell.
The collection of pincushions was first begun in 2015 for my Narrative Threads exhibition with the aim of having 46 pincushions representing each year of her short life. I have now completed the series and all 46 were shown in my Emotional Repair (2018) and Textile Traces (2019) exhibitions.
The pincushions are made from a variety of techniques and materials, giving me the opportunity to experiment and explore ideas in cloth on a small scale. Many of the pincushions are made from my collection antique and vintage textiles which she would have loved. One is made from a piece of Chinese embroidery she had framed. In a couple I have used hexagon patchwork which my cousin reminded me that she enjoyed making herself and I have used some of her own fabrics in new pincushions. Blue and white fabrics also feature, reflecting her love of collecting blue and white porcelain. One piece has been made by her son Ben and one is her own pincushion from her sewing basket.