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Kirstie Macleod

Visual artist, costume designer

Kirstie Mcleod is known for her unique and contemporary approach to the fine art of embroidery, juxtaposing the skill with the sensibilities of contemporary fine art, to create an altogether unique fusion. Macleod exhibits a wide spectrum of works that pay homage to this intricate skill - the primary focus of the artist's practice - which has become the subject of study in many distinguished needlepoint bodies including the Royal School of Needlework. 

Paul Black

Macleod has exhibited widely, international shows have included Art Dubai and her work has been shown in the Royal Academy of Arts and The Barbican in London, she has received art prizes including the Premio Valcellina Award for Textiles, Italy. Her work can be seen in many notable private and commercial collections in London, and abroad. 

Exploring issues of identity, the subconscious and the passage of time, Kirstie's work seeks to articulate specific events and interactions through a kaleidoscopic, emotion led vision. The works embody dreamlike states, often using hidden codes and mythical symbolism to portray elements of the unconscious mind.

Having trained in both Fine Art and theatrical disciplines, the works form a diverse portfolio comprising photography, film, painting, textile based constructions and large scale - often immersive performance installations.

Barocco, Global collaborative embroidery & performance

Funded by the British Council, Barocco is a decade-long embroidery project by British artist Kirstie Macleod that is centred around a single red dress. Since 2009, the dress has traveled around the world being continuously embroidered and added to by 50 different participants to date. Its most recent contributors include the Bedouin Fanasina collective, a group of female embroiderers based in Egypt’s Sinai who provide economic independence and education to women in the region. Taken from the ancient Portuguese word for a “rough or imperfect pearl”, Baroccois a performance piece where Kirstie Macleod sits within a central perspex cube wearing and embroidering the ornate red dress that fills the tiny space around her.

Over the remaining five years, elements of Barocco will be worked on and over by embroiderers around the globe until the dress is so heavily decorated that the dress and its bodice will be able to stand up on its own as a sculptural exhibit within its Perspex cube. Individually delicate and decorative, the unique stitches by people all over the world add the layers and layers of expression that create the strong and rigid armor of the art piece that is the Barocco dress. The piece makes tangible the interplay through embroidery between a variety of cultures, each with their own identity and experience, who express themselves through their stitches.

Art Dubai 2009

The Royal Academy, London 2010


Valcellina Award, Italy 2012 

Gallery Maeght, Paris 2012

Rook & Raven Gallery 2015

50 Embroiderers. 15 Countries. 1 Dress

Emelan, Dubai