Phil Davison has striven to reinvigorate a graphic medium in peril of being considered irrelevant by many, with his unorthodox approach to cross-stitch designs.
This is evident in the techniques Phil Davison endeavours to replicate and which reflect his peculiar thought processes and life experiences.
From organizing and running some of the first public cross-stitch events in London in 2008, to exhibiting his cross-stitch art, in recent years, in major art & design fairs both in the UK & abroad, Phil Davison has been continuously championing craft both as a modern day past time and respected fine art medium.
The process of transforming thread into imagery fascinates him, gradually leading him from hobby to art and has proven a most amenable vehicle for translating his inner vision to outer reality.
Phil Davison’s fascination with skulls, which chiefly inspire his work thus far; stems from his history of studying genetics and earlier work experience in a mortuary. The allure of skulls as a subject matter, facilitates a universal platform for the imagery he creates, allowing it to cross borders and languages and be appreciated by all cultures, granting him free access to fully focus on the technique he is essentially trying to recreate. The skull contains ones hopes, dreams, fears and every aspect of what it is to be human, and that which makes each person unique. In Phil Davison’s opinion that is something very special that relates to every person allowing them to draw their own meaning from his work and he actively encourage viewers to freely interpret each piece he creates in a way that is meaningful to their personal experiences.
However, Phil Davison’s designs are not confined solely to skulls, with his visual universe being a mix of street art and popular culture. He is principally inspired by image reproduction techniques; focusing on a process, be it in photography or a printing method. He then attempts to see if, and how, it can be recreated in cross-stitch.
Phil Davison chooses to work strictly with full cross-stitches as he enjoys the challenges of trying to overcome the natural restrictions of this medium.
Phil Davison works from an initial concept of an idea that he wishes to achieve, then experiments with various blends of threads and canvas/stitch sizes to finally achieve the desired effect using only full cross-stitches. This process of creating makes initial preparatory sketches almost impossible to start from as the design evolves organically as the process moves forward.
To accurately render and mimic in cross-stitch the original technique that inspired its conception demands a high level of precision. It is exactly this dedication to precision, acquired over a decade of working in couture fashion, which drives Phil Davisons evolution of the craft into the realm of fine art.