Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Artist Feature: MaricorMaricar

This week's feature is with Sydney based MaricorMaricar, which is the work of two very creative sister's Maricor and Maricar Manalo. Maricor and Maricar work across a variety of mediums including stop-motion animation, print, illustration, web and textiles. They had their first solo exhibition in 2011 'Turns of Speech & Figures of Phrase' at Mart Gallery in Sydney and contributed to the 'Jim Henson Tribute Show' at Gallery Nucleus, California USA. Their work in 2010 was selected as a finalist in SOYA, and in 2011 were awarded a British Council 'Realise your Dream Award' which took them to London for a year and are now represented by Handsome Frank Worldwide.

In 2012 MaricorMaricar joined Jacky Winter who now represent them in Australia. They recently participated in the 'True Self' group exhibition presented by Jacky Winter at the Melbourne GPO.

Today they are both talking to us about their embroidery practice, inspirations and work together. All images in this interview are provided by and copyright of MaricorMaricar.

Additional note I forgot to add: Maricor and Maricar kindly designed and embroidered the beautiful font for the title of our show Needle Work Needle Play which you can see in the above header!

Tell us a little about yourself and your arts/design background


Maricor and I studied Visual Communications at UTS in Sydney, our interests and studies there were quite broad. We worked together on an animation for our final year but we were equally as interested in typography, print, photography and illustration. I guess it hasn't changed much since, as we still work across quite a few disciplines! Whilst we have focused largely on our lettering and embroidery for the last few years now and then we freelance as digital and motion graphics designers as well as create and direct our own animations.

What led you to using embroidery in your work


It actually came about from a music video we created while at the previous design company we both worked at, Mathematics. The concept was to create an embroidered animation and we actually hadn't done any needle work before that. But since we've always been drawn to hand crafted visuals it ended up being a natural fit!

It was a while before we started focusing on embroidery again (not until we stopped working full time and started working for ourselves). We love how we can work with our hands and combine it with our interests in lettering and typography.

Could you talk a little on the process of creating your work


We start with pencil sketches and will usually work these up to as close to final embroidery as we can, using watercolours or sometimes the computer to test out colourways. We've created a few commissions so we've found that we do a lot of pre-production to set the design before we even start putting needle to thread. Luckily we've managed to avoid having to unpick projects because of this, although there was one personal project that was based on a poem that I misquoted. We realised the mistake only after we had embroidered the majority of the piece, which was a large one too. Maricor was not happy with me that day!

Can you tell us a little about your inspirations

We're inspired by patterns, traditional textiles, unexpected colour combinations, stories and the sounds of certain words.

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