Recipient of the NAVA Ignition Prize. 



This research project grew out of an interest in how our brains work and the different ways that we can influence them by engaging with creativity and the natural world. The research explores these ideas through a series of textile-based labs that encourage participation and engagement throughout the making process.

The research is particularly interested in experiences of anxiety and despair. Care, intimacy and gentleness are built into every stage of the artwork’s creation. Each stitch is a considered and careful decision to share a story or idea that might spark a new connection. Being in nature and engaging with creativity both boost the production of dopamine which is the feel-good drug in our brains. The work physically and metaphorically weaves those actions together to see what might happen.

Whisper Waves, the major research outcome, asks the question, ‘In moments of anxiety and despair, what would you like to have whispered in your ear?’ and invited people to submit their whispers anonymously via an online platform. These whispers were then translated into sound waves and painstakingly stitched with care as long single lines using hand-dyed thread imbued with the energy of the plants and flowers from my local area.

Photograph of embroidery hoop with a single line stitched onto the fabric within it
Deb Lemcke, Whisper Waves [installation view—single whisper against the sky], 2022.

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Deb Lemcke