This Portsmouth artist has brought the world of Jane Austen to life through amazing stitching works
AN ARTIST has brought the literary world of Jane Austen to life through the use of textiles.
Kim Edith, 34 from Portsmouth, has depicted key figures and themes that appear in the author’s work from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Characters given the stitched treatment include Mr Darcey from Pride and Prejudice and Fanny Price from Mansfield Park.
They are now being exhibited as part of a display at the Hotwalls Studios in Old Portsmouth, where artists benefit from subsidised rates.
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Kim, who was a teacher until 2016, said: ‘This exhibition is about the different themes in Austen’s work.
‘She uses the clergy a lot, there’s lots of country houses and balls.
‘They play card games and the pianoforte – these are all things different to our world and I wanted to illustrate those.’
The exhibition is part of Portsmouth Bookfest, an annual festival celebrating the city’s literary heritage
Key speakers and writers set to appear at this year’s event include scientist and writer, Professor Jim Al-Khalili, David Hepworth, Graham Humphreys and Adele Parks.
Kim said: ‘I was working with kids all day, trying to get them into textiles and as a result of that I got really into textiles.
‘Without these spaces I definitely would not be working as a full time artist. It’s amazingly helpful.’
After starting a successful fabric book business and producing woodland-themed work, Kim decided to explore Austen’s literary world in a similar way.
‘It was a bit of a personal project,’ she added.
‘I do commissions, people bring me their favourite songs and I produce work based on that song.
‘I wanted to push this idea into books and I thought, “what is a book that I like, that I know about?” – I chose Pride and Prejudice.
‘I was not a superfan but I think that the whole world of Jane Austen has such a specific feeling.
‘It’s so different and everyone has an idea of what it is like.
‘I got really into it. It turned into what is now going to be a two-year project.’
Kim's exhibition, The World of Jane Austen (Stitched), can be viewed between the hours of 10am and 4pm on Sunday, February 22.