School of Design Textile Design

Bonnie Magee


The Feminine Grotesque

I understand the word ‘feminine’ to be associated with the beauty of organic form, nature, strength, and the exploration of emotion. In my exploration of ‘the grotesque’, I’ve observed preserved organs and taxidermy during museum visits, as well as exploring nature and capturing natural forms.

I connect with these themes through materiality, process, and communication through stitch. Highlighting the beauty that arises from the uncomfortable, my work combines the body and the natural world.

Through sampling, I use mixed embroidery methods to translate textures and forms collected through research and drawing. The samples I have produced provide a narrative, and my silhouettes are inspired by wearable art and historical costume.

Additionally, my complementary project is focused on taxidermy. Inspired by emotive storytelling and the imagery from dark fairy tales, I have used illustrative embroidery to translate forms of creatures with a focus on birds.

Within my collection, my materials have been sourced ethically. I have utilised off-cuts and donations and have been kindly supported by Ayrshire company, MYB textiles, producer of Scottish lace.

LinkedIn - Bonnie Magee
The Feminine Grotesque
Complimentary Project

Complimentary Project

Continuing my exploration of ‘The Feminine Grotesque’, my complementary project has led me to become interested in the imagery found in dark fairy tales. Inspired by artists such as Louis Bourgeois and Paula Rego, I became drawn to emotive art through storytelling and the symbolism of animals.

Whilst collecting research during my museum visits, I was able to observe and appreciate both the discomfort and beauty of taxidermy.

Working intuitively, I translated my illustrative and expressive drawings into embroidery by a mixed selection of manipulated materials and stitch. These techniques aim to capture the textural mark-making style of my drawings. Developing an emotive and personal collection, these illustrations connect with my main studio collection. They have been designed either to work together or as a standalone collection for interior and fashion.