MELANIE ISIS TINKEN
2014 hand embroidered photograph
2013 hand embroidered B&W photograph
2013 hand embroidered photograph
2018 hand embroidered photograph
In her artistic practice, Melanie Isis Tinken collects and curates vintage, analogue photographs from the twentieth century of people unknown to her. They are haunting objects no longer remembered or cherished. She hand embroiders these images using a combination of vintage silk, floss manufactured in the early twentieth century and contemporary metallic embroidery floss. These artifacts are offered a second life and become remembered through the activity of embroidering.
Each individual photograph is intimately handled, pierced and stitched. The embroidery offers repair, restoration and re-imagination for these images. The embroidery is not merely a decorative technique on the surface of the photograph: it also offers an essence, an holistic individuated healing to the unknown subject of the image. The thread sourced from the same era the photos were taken resonates the past, while the modern metallic threads bring the photos into the present day and imply alchemy and transformation. If memory is mindful remembering, her work embodies this intention.