This Irish embroidery artist’s work will feature in the Chelsea Flower Show
Kildare artist Amelia Dennigan is the first Irish embroidery artist to be featured in the prestigious show.
Irish textile artist Amelia Dennigan’s intricate embroidery work will appear in the RHS Chelsea Flower show, running this week, as part of award-winning gardener Tom Hoblyn’s entry, which he worked on with interior designer Rachel Chudley.
Known for her large-scale thread paintings, Amelia uses intricate embroidery and appliqué techniques to create otherworldly and unexpected textiles, relying heavily on colour, texture and symbolism to tell imaginative stories.
For this design, Amelia explains, “We wanted to create textiles that felt like you were sitting on a mossy mound in a woodland. As such I came up with these lichen pieces stitched in mouldy greens and yellows, upon which I embroidered highly chromatic 3D flowers in reds, yellows and chartreuse.”
She also considered the materials carefully. “I used a mixture of wool, silk and metallic threads and fabrics, while Rachel came up with the idea for the sheepskin; we wanted the experience to be as much about touch as sight. Overall the pieces are very immersive, very rich, mirroring the feeling of the larger space.”
Inspired by the intensity and rich detail of a Pre-Raphaelite painting, Amelia’s embroideries for the garden mimic moss and lichen, reminiscent of a forest. The designs have been intricately stitched in silk and wool threads to create pieces that look almost alive.
The commission took several months of planning, and several more to complete the work.
Amelia started off her career as an economist, but left in 2018 and began exploring textiles, which she had always been interested in. A move to New York coincided with this change, and a year later, she set up ACRU, which specialises in one-of-a-kind thread paintings, with sell-out annual shows and private commissions by multinational clients.
Tom Hoblyn’s garden will be the third he has created for Boodles, having taken home the gold medal for his design last year. Amelia’s work will appear in this year’s garden alongside five other expert craftspeople, including a stone mason, a sculptor, a wood turner and a fabric dyer.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from May 22 – 27.