Unique embroidery art capturing New Zealand’s natural beauty
Are you captivated by New Zealand’s stunning wildlife? Lost for words at the sight of an ultraviolet rainbow gleaming on the wings of a tui, or the gentle power of a harrier hawk floating high above the landscape?
Aotearoa has immense beauty to offer – from the simple curl of a kawakawa leaf to the stunning elegance of our marine corals. While these natural wonders are fleeting, NZ art allows us to capture and appreciate them in our homes.
Celebrate New Zealand’s Natural Beauty with Unique Sculptural Embroidery Art
My name is Cathy Jane Brickhill, and I’m a NZ artist who creates intricate handmade embroidery art inspired by nature. By combining a lifelong obsession with all of nature’s creations with decades of experience in art and design, my artworks capture the beauty of NZ’s flora and fauna and bring the wonders of nature into your home.
My earliest memories all involve the great outdoors - bush walks with my family, peering at birds through binoculars, and collecting tiny skeletal leaves, fallen petals, shells, and feathers. That lifelong habit has become an integral part of my creative process as an NZ artist. To this day, I wander, explore, and gather wild treasures, using their forms to inspire my artwork.
I take inspiration from found objects, not images found online, and I am drawn to focus on native species to highlight their fragility and importance. During my downtime, you’ll find me roaming Tiritiri Matangi Bird Sanctuary, volunteering with the Department of Conservation or Bird Rescue, or just getting lost in (and inspired by) nature.
My obsession with design and creativity led me to study fashion design and learn a wide variety of artistic techniques – from crochet and Tambour beading to my specialty - sculptural embroidery.
What is Sculptural Embroidery?
This freehand machine embroidery method allows me to use my sewing machine as a kind of paintbrush to create one-of-a-kind artworks composed of multi-coloured threads stitched into a water-soluble fabric. This fabric is then dissolved, and I add extra detail by incorporating hand embroidery.
The final step is to sculpt my design to the correct shape, pin it to a board, and frame it, creating intricate 3D artworks that reflect their unique subjects – from birds and insects to flowers and leaves.
My ethereal, delicate artworks create a striking talking point wherever they are displayed.
For nature lovers, they offer a unique way to appreciate Aotearoa’s beauty. The vibrant colours and intricate hand embroidered pieces are showcased in simple white shadow box frames, protected with high grade museum glass to enhance their form.
All pieces are handmade one-off designs & come with an NZ artist signed authenticity certificate.
Shop my current range of Sculptured Embroidery here
Get inspired by my past works in the Gallery
Learn how to create your own unique embroidery art in my custom Workshops
Request your bespoke commission for your unique space here
Cathy’s NZ Artists Guarantee – If you’re not completely satisfied, get in touch to discuss a resolution.
Threads magazine is the official publication from The Association of New Zealand Embroiderers' Guilds that features the best of New Zealand embroidery, news from Guilds all over New Zealand and special features on different embroiderers and techniques.
On my second time entering the the Trusts Awards Art Exhibition I was ecstatic to win the 2nd prize placing for my 'NZ bark & Lichen study' sculptural embroidery. I also received a merit award for my 'Sunburst Lichen' sculptural embroidery.
Judges Comments: 'Extraordinary technique and resolve in these works. A humble yet beautiful subject matter that encourages close observation and reflection on our natural surroundings.'
On my first time entering the Auckland Art Awards and Exhibition I was ecstatic to win the 3rd prize placing for my 'Kelp Fingers' sculptural embroidery in the sculpture category and won first place in the peoples choice award. This piece later was sold to a private collector.