Feelings by Manjit Thapp
Published by Penguin Random House, 2021
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This is a gentle and ruminative look at how much our mood/mental health can be affected by the changing seasons. The text itself is relatively simple, though it does have an air of prose poetry to it. So while it may not discuss any particularly unique experiences or offer up any ground-breaking insights, it is likely to resonate widely.
If you suffer from anxiety or bouts of depression (particularly SAD), you are sure to feel seen by Thapp’s musings. Regardless, the real draw here is her stunning artwork. A dreamy colour palette and a playful use of structure and layout elevate this quasi-graphic-memoir considerably. I will certainly come back to this to soak up the visuals, and will be keeping an eye out for more of Thapp’s work.
The Embroidered Art of Chloe Giordano
Published by Search Press, 2019
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I’ve been an admirer of Giordano’s work ever since I took up embroidery myself. Specialising in characterful, hyper-realistic woodland animals, her pieces are brought to life in her own distinct style of thread painting. In this book, she breaks down her creative process – in general terms, and on a piece-by-piece basis. It’s definitely easy to draw inspiration from her work, and though most of us will never come close to her standard, it is a joy to pore over such high-quality reproductions of her designs – the book itself having been produced to a wonderful standard.
If you’re a total newcomer to embroidery and are looking for a book that will walk you through specific patterns or teach you different stitch techniques, this isn’t the one for you. If, however, you already have an interest in embroidery or textile art, and want to marvel at the work of one of the best in the business, this is a gorgeous, well curated retrospective of Giordano’s career so far.