We are continually intrigued by artists who conceive new ways to create old-fashioned arts. Cross stitch, which is one of the oldest forms of embroidery, was originally used to embroider textiles in ancient Egypt and China. Today, it is often used as a way to decorate clothing and fabric with flowers or patterns. Recently, Spanish artist Raquel Rodrigo has employed the technique to make walls of flowers.
Rodrigo’s education and background are in set design and interior design, but since 2014, she has been producing large-scale cross-stitched street art in Valencia and Madrid. Through a series of X’s, Rodrigo creates hibiscus flowers, roses, cherry blossoms, and other flowers, all best viewed from a distance.
The designs are made with thick string cross-stitched onto wire mesh. Rodrigo creates depth in her designs by combining different shades of string. She assembles her work in her studio, then rolls them up for transport. Her designs range in size and are situated in a number of places including buildings, window grates, bike racks, and chain-link fences—each piece highlighting the unique architectural qualities of its location.
Rodrigo uses enlarged cross-stitching as a form of guerrilla marketing for Arquicostura, a street-art marketing agency. Through Arquicostura—a word that combines the Spanish words for architecture and sewing—Rodrigo has created art for Alhambra, a luxury Italian brand, and Endora Productions.
Rodrigo’s work is a beautiful marriage of an age-old pastime with modern sensibility. The beauty in her flower creations and her innovative spirit inspire us to keep finding ways to make what is old new again.