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Molly Tufnell 'Stitches the Universe'

Contemporary Artist and Teacher


  • On the Balance of Probability

    I believe that our species will not last long. It does not seem to be made of the stuff that has allowed the turtle, for example, to continue to exist more or less unchanged for hundreds of millions of years; for hundreds of times longer, that is, than we have been in existence. We belong to a short-lived genus of species. All of our cousins are already extinct. What’s more, we do damage. The brutal climate and environmental changes we have triggered are unlikely to spare us. For the Earth they may turn out to be a small irrelevant blip, but I do not think that we will outlast them unscathed - especially since public opinion prefers to ignore the dangers which we are running, hiding our heads in the sand. We are perhaps the only species on Earth to be conscious of the inevitability of our own individual mortality. I fear that soon we shall also have to become the only species that will knowingly watch the coming of its own collective demise, or at least the demise of its civilisation.

    These words had a powerful effect on me and were the inspiration for this piece when reading 2016 Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli.....

    n.b. This page is under construction

  • 2011 French Knots

    The instructions to produce an individual french knot may be seen as an algorithm that generates a self similar building block that when continually repeated, produces complex patterns similar to those in nature.

    Photo Polymer Etching
    Limited Edition Print
    297mm x 420mm

    Also Limited Edition Giclee Print
    297mm x 420mm

  • 2007 Albert's Dream - a work still in progress

    This work was inspired by the research of physicists attempting to unify our understanding of how the universe works. This suggests that there is only one basic component, a tiny vibrating strand of energy called a string. The strings make a multitude of vibrational patterns and it is their interactions that make up all the constituents of nature.

  • 2005 ...stitch after stich...a dynamic density map

    Duration of this moving image work is 3 mins 42 secs
    N.B.Preferably to be viewed as a video projection

    This work uses the captured trace of my own gestural hand marks, as I made a series of back stitches and explores issues relating to repetition of the self similar and self organising dynamic systems.

  • 2005 Stitching the Universe

    The over arching theory being Complexity my focus here is repetition of the self similar and dynamic self organising systems. Shown by the process undertaken, this work examined ideas associated with the underlying principles of natural pattern formation and was inspired by the notion that out of chaos, orderly patterns naturally develop. A performance piece, the work was undertaken at intervals throughout the exhibition.

  • 2004 Back Stitch Echo

    Moving Image Duration: 6mins 33 secs

    Just as technology permits us to trace the echo and view an image of, for example, the beat of the heart, here it has allowed me to capture and reveal a trace of my own rhythmic movements when creating a row of back stitch. Whilst sewing a stitch, each of us develops our own attractor*, the dynamic system or pathway that our hand, needle, and thread travels along to make it. This piece makes visible the mark of my own hand when producing this basic stitch. The first section alludes to the adjustments in my gesture needed to make the stitching fit a particular situation, the second refers to the way in which the flow of the repeated motion alters according to the speed I work at, and the third, to the continual repetitive action needed to produce a series of back stitches which then gradually constructs an echo of my own personal attractor for this stitch.

    *N.B ATTRACTORS are geometric shapes where Phase space is an imaginary three-dimensional mathematical space where all possible motions of a dynamic system can be visualized as geometric shapes called ATTRACTORS.

  • 2003 Stitching Units: density map IIII

    Duration of this moving image work is 28 mins 14 secs
    N.B.Preferably to be viewed as a vidio projection
    Here the humble dot has been substituted for a stitch as a means of indicating and abstracting, the essence of the process and rhythms that occur whilst stitching.

  • 2002 Be Visible Stitch Attractors

    This work responds to the hidden structures, and systems, which are part of our everyday lives. When learning a particular stitch, we use diagrams as well as sight of the actual stitch to help us; but these methods only give a partial picture. Working virtually, my stitching does not exist in a material or conventional sense, but instead captures the essence of the symbiosis of movement between maker and stitch.