Regi Cherini is an embroidery artist from Western Australia.
“Born and raised in Sydney, she has spent the past ten years living in regional and remote northern Australia, including three years in the Northern Territory and seven years in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Remote living came with many challenges and blessings, and afforded her new perspectives and insights into various unconventional characters and lifestyles.
“Now in her mid-thirties, back living an urban existence, Cherini’s current series of works explores the shared experiences of women within the frame of societal pressure, expectation and gender inequality. Inspired by the contemporary needlecraft movement, Cherini utilises the medium of embroidery to depict still life compositions. She revels in subverting the traditional domestic medium of embroidery to express seemingly incompatible subject matter.
“In recent history needlework has been a marker of femininity in its various iterations, a domestic ‘craft ‘constrained by utilitarian or decorative intent. Cherini is interested in challenging and undermining notions of imposed boundaries and hierarchies of creativity, raising embroidery out of the realm of craft and into that of fine art. Approached with a post-modern sensibility, referencing and yet rejecting a traditional context, Cherini demonstrates that embroidery can be an unconventional and subversive medium for examining and challenging issues of gender, equality, class and culture.“
Regi Cherini’s work ticks a lot of boxes in the “contemporary embroidery styles I love” category. Firstly the realism achieved with the satin stitches is terrific, with tone, shade and texture created with great effect. Whether it’s the perspectives on the logos or the contours of the packaging, the simple stitches are coerced into creating familiar objects with uncanny accuracy.
Secondly, the narrative. If you visit Regi Cherini’s website, you’ll enjoy the caustic copywriting that accompany each series. This is an excerpt from the Secret Women’s Business which exemplifies the acerbic viewpoint that underpins her work: “Hey lady, now you’re in your thirties and people are telling you that your ‘biological clock is ticking’, despite the fact that those words are never appropriate, helpful or funny. “
And finally there’s just something about the items Cherini chooses to stitch. I love a good vernacular and these collections of seemingly mundane items provide an intimate insight into Western Australia culture. Whether it’s feminine hygiene products, or the essentials you’ll need to survive a cyclone, we are treated to curated gatherings of items that are a record of 21st century living, for better or worse.