Artist Ulla Stina Wikander uses cross stitch embroidery to create a new skin for everyday objects. Finding old, outdated technology, clothing, and furniture, she cloaks them in colorful tapestries. Suddenly, the rigid items feel warm and cozy with their illustrated coverings. Stretched over every inch of their surfaces are pastoral landscapes, vibrant florals, and regal portraits. No longer filling their intended purpose, Wikander gives them new life with embroidered skins as items of splendor.
These retro objects are from the 1970s, and Wikander lines them with embroidery that’s just as old (or older). “The cross-stitch designs I have collected for many years,” she explains, “and placing them in a new context allows them to change.” Her disparate subject matter, when placed side-by-side, creates a collision of patterns. The result? “The objects change character,” she says, “depending on their ‘style.’” Its effect, however, is always the same: ordinary design is made extraordinary thanks to these colorful additions.