Here at Old Tat we are still obsessing over cats. Leigh Jennings from Intwosandthrees talks about her controversial embroidery projects and how cats always have her in stitches…
Hi Leigh, introduce yourself to our Tatties!
Hello! I’m Leigh, I run Intwosandthrees which is home to embroidered goods and illustrations. Intwosandthrees is now infamously known for a ‘home is where them fuckers ain’t’ embroidery, along with other topical and mature embroidered pieces, oh, and cats.
Naturally, we’re big fans. How did you get into embroidery?
I tried embroidery first at college and then uni (back in 2006). Being one of the few female students in my year conscious of exploring feminist issues within art, I thought it was only right to test a ‘traditionally feminine craft’ in untraditional ways. Not a new concept, of course, but I became addicted to embroidery through this overtly feminine and old-fashioned ritual.
What makes it the ideal medium for what you do?
You can do anything with embroidery and yet it still has a kind of feminine charm to it. Throw in a swear word and there’s a great juxtaposition between the two. At the moment, I love the idea of translating flat illustrations into embroideries with detailed textures.
Brilliant! And how come our furry feline friends appear so often in your work?
It started with a cat pet portrait as a gift for my nanny. I didn’t think it would get so out of hand! Cats are bloody beautiful, perfect for a portrait — but the way their fur grows and the colourations and patterns they have, it makes them perfect for me to spend hours delicately stitching versions of them. I love it. And hey, why not cats?
We couldn’t agree more. Can you tell us about your brilliant Kitty Clique project and how that came about?
I’m obsessed my with my best babes’ (Boo Hamilton-Frost) unique illustrations of cats. With just a few lines she’s drawn up a lil fur baby with rosy cheeks and fluffy ears — it blows my mind that she can draw like that so easily. I thought that some of the texture she draws would work well with the texture of embroidery, so we gave it a go. We then ended up making a little gang of fluffy friends — and the Kitty Clique was born!
Oh how we long to be part of the Kitty Clique! What is the biggest compliment you’ve received about your work?
It’s probably when other amazing artists, illustrators and embroidery artists compliment my work. But whenever I make a pet portrait and the owners email back with photos of their pet next to their embroidery, and it’s the best feeling.
And finally, we’re all for it, but why should every day be Caturday?
Because cats are so funny, obviously other animals are brilliant too, but with cats you really have to work for their affection — but they’re all so good looking that you don’t mind just staring at them longingly. Plus, have you seen some of the videos of cats that are out there? They’re bloody stupid at times!
Words by Alice Freeman
Featuring Leigh Jennings of Intwosandthrees