This Artist Stitches the Palm of His Hand to Create Haunting Images

David Cata is using his own skin as a canvas to stitch images of landscape and his family. The haunting images explore ideas about memory and place.

Artist David Cata ignores paper and pencil and instead uses his own skin and thread to depict his art. The Spanish born artist’s latest series of works uses a combination of photography, self-portrait, and sculpture to reveal themes about memory and latency.

This Artist Stitches the Palm of His Hand to Create Haunting Images
Source: David Cata

Cata sketches the images on to his hand before sewing them onto his skin using needle and thread. The artist has developed a method that just digs into the first layer of skin piercing only mainly dead skin so the experience isn’t too painful and draws little blood.

Cata then photographs these embodied sculptures in the landscape or with props before ripping out the stitches. He says the traces of the world remain for several weeks after and he needs to wait for these to heal before attempting another work.

This Artist Stitches the Palm of His Hand to Create Haunting Images
Source: David Cata

Historical stitches run deep

In a previous series, Cata sewed portraits of his family members on to his skin. In his artist statement Cata describes his own work by saying, “Sometimes, his own body turns into the canvas of his artistic experience. The sewn and fissures done over his skin are a metaphor of the permanent symbiosis between the passage of time and the oblivion. His work aims to the past time’s preservation through the memorial, corporal, photographic and videographic prints. His work goes beyond an esthetic quest.”

Cata is interested in notions of time and memory and the way we carry these thoughts with us. “Every people we meet maks us in someway. Their image projects on us, reminding us where we come from. Their lives turn into a part of ours. Every stitch over my skin represent them, physical pain is not a boundary, it unites us more by thinking that my hand has been marked on an affective act, by thinking that, at that time, my hand has touched their hand.” he says.

This Artist Stitches the Palm of His Hand to Create Haunting Images
Source: David Cata

Artwork moves between mediums

As well as creating the sewing sculptures Cata also works in a variety of other mediums such as music, sculpture, and video. He has exhibited widely in Spain and also internationally.

Cata's works intersect with work of other artists who use embroidery and stitching as their primary medium. Many of these artists also use stitching as a way to interpret memory.

Art

This Artist's Pencil Drawings Are So Lifelike They Could Pass for Photographs

While sewing and stitching are often seen as ‘women's’ work many contemporary embroidery artists are challenging our notion of what this means by sewing objects and imagery that are in opposition to traditional feminine themes.

Cata's work also conjures questions about our human 'touch' on the environment. By creating the landscape images directly on to his skin he raises questions about where the boundary of himself and the landscape lies.

This series of landscape work called Horizontes depict both interior and exterior landscapes from beach scenes to the keys of a piano. Each photograph has Cata's hand in the center featuring the stitching that mimics what is being blocked by his limb. The effect is both haunting and beautiful.

This Artist Stitches the Palm of His Hand to Create Haunting Images
Source: David Cata
This Artist Stitches the Palm of His Hand to Create Haunting Images
Source: David Cata
This Artist Stitches the Palm of His Hand to Create Haunting Images
Source: David Cata

Via: David Cata