This Calgary artist found a global audience with the 'soft power' of her textile portraits of Black women
Simone Elizabeth Saunders shares the story of the portrait that started it all.
November 18, 2022
''I was always searching for a sense of belonging and identity within the canon of art history, you know, as a biracial Black woman — not really identifying with all these eras we were studying. And so portraiture was always something that I did throughout school — creating narratives of Black womanhood.
When I started creating portraiture with the tufting gun and punch needle, I had no idea it would catch on the way it did. It's something that is highly unique, I think, and it's such a tactile medium. Like, people see it from afar and it looks like a painting, but then you get up close and you can see the fibres and the textures and the metallic threads and the velvet threads.''
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