Louise Gardiner obituary


My sister Louise Gardiner, who has died of most cancers aged 51, was an expert machine embroiderist; her work ranged from embroidered illustrations to large-scale artworks and commemorative capes. She additionally arrange the Lou Gardiner model to promote luxurious silk scarves, pouffes and cushions.

Amongst her most notable works have been a two-metre quilt, entitled Licky Lips Genie, commissioned by the Liberty division retailer in London for a window show in 2010, and a group of 5 massive and complex tumbleweed designs entitled You Blow Me Away that have been exhibited on the Saatchi Gallery in 2012.

Lou was born in Knutsford, Cheshire, and grew up on a dairy farm known as Oak Farm in close by Styal that was run by our mother and father, Judy (nee Hobson) and Alan. After attending Rydal college in north Wales, the place she performed hockey and tennis, starred in Grease and Guys & Dolls and excelled at artwork, she accomplished an artwork basis course at Manchester Metropolitan College, then studied for a level in textiles at Goldsmiths, College of London.

Shortly after graduating in 1994, she launched her profession as an embroidery artist, initially with work that was primarily figurative and featured observations of the on a regular basis, reminiscent of glamorous procuring women or a women’ massive night time out.

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Louise Gardiner with a few of her work at Oak Farm in Cheshire, the place she grew up. {Photograph}: Sophie Broadbridge

In 2003 she moved to Bristol, the place from her base in Jamaica Road Studios she created her first large-scale fee for the Gloucestershire hospital basis belief, a set of unique embroideries entitled Wacky Races which are nonetheless on show within the youngsters’s centre at Gloucestershire royal hospital.

Whereas taking over extra commissions she started to assist others to harness their very own inventive potential by her Tremendous Stitcher programs, which have been featured on Channel 4 through a masterclass on Kirstie’s Do-it-yourself Residence TV sequence in 2009. She additionally appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Lady’s Hour, the place she advised the programme that she drove her stitching machine “like an Aston Martin”. She arrange the Lou Gardiner model in 2012.

Lou’s later work took on a extra natural flavour, celebrating biodiversity and the patterns of nature. In addition to embroidery, she used applique with paint and ink to create luxurious and detailed items. That type was completely illustrated by the Cape of Empowerment, an enormous garment commissioned in 2017 by Pukka tea firm as a part of its Womankind natural tea vary launch.

Her closing mission was put along with the late entrepreneur Hugo Burge at Marchmont Home on the Scottish borders. Cape of Inventive Braveness, commissioned in April 2020, was impressed by the woodland of Marchmont Home, the place Lou drew extensively. The mission quickly took on particular relevance because it motivated her to proceed to embroider as her most cancers progressed. A world group of tons of of followers despatched in flying acorn embroideries as a part of the mission.

Except for her work and creativity, Lou will likely be remembered for her nice sense of humour and infectious smile.

She is survived by her associate, Ben Davies, our mom Judy, and her siblings, Shelly and me.


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