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Phaedra, 2015

Soluble fabric, cellophane, horsehair and iron.

The dress at the beginning of the performance, standing 15ft tall on a revolving stage.

Happy Days Festival, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.

Mezzo Soprano: Ruby Philogene

Director: Sophie Hunter

Phaedra, 2015

Soluble fabric, cellophane, horsehair and iron.

The dress at the end of the performance, having been slowly dissolved over the course of the operatic recital.

Happy Days Festival, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.

Mezzo Soprano: Ruby Philogene

Director: Sophie Hunter

Lacrimosa I, 2010



Documented underwater performance on Guernsey coast.

Sponsored by the Guernsey Arts Commission



Inspired by a movement from Mozart’s Requiem; literally meaning ‘weeping’ in Latin this piece draws inspiration from the rich textile culture of Guernsey in particular the regional specificities of the traditional ‘Gansey’ or fisherman’s jumper.

The performance attempts to illustrate a transitory and transitional state between life and death, hinting at the memories of the many sailors drowned at sea in the numerous shipwrecks that have occurred in the waters surrounding Guernsey.



The dress itself was knitted out of 30,000 meters of 2lb and 4lb fishing line fashioned to a traditional Gansey design with an extended skirt. The ten minute performance saw both dress and performer locked in a cyclical battle; the weighted dress pulling down preventing Kirstie from reaching the surface.



Lacrimosa II, 2010



Documented underwater performance on Guernsey coast.

Sponsored by the Guernsey Arts Commission



Inspired by a movement from Mozart’s Requiem; literally meaning ‘weeping’ in Latin this piece draws inspiration from the rich textile culture of Guernsey in particular the regional specificities of the traditional ‘Gansey’ or fisherman’s jumper.

The performance attempts to illustrate a transitory and transitional state between life and death, hinting at the memories of the many sailors drowned at sea in the numerous shipwrecks that have occurred in the waters surrounding Guernsey.



The dress itself was knitted out of 30,000 meters of 2lb and 4lb fishing line fashioned to a traditional Gansey design with an extended skirt. The ten minute performance saw both dress and performer locked in a cyclical battle; the weighted dress pulling down preventing Kirstie from reaching the surface.



Lacrimosa III, 2010



Documented underwater performance on Guernsey coast.

Sponsored by the Guernsey Arts Commission



Inspired by a movement from Mozart’s Requiem; literally meaning ‘weeping’ in Latin this piece draws inspiration from the rich textile culture of Guernsey in particular the regional specificities of the traditional ‘Gansey’ or fisherman’s jumper.

The performance attempts to illustrate a transitory and transitional state between life and death, hinting at the memories of the many sailors drowned at sea in the numerous shipwrecks that have occurred in the waters surrounding Guernsey.



The dress itself was knitted out of 30,000 meters of 2lb and 4lb fishing line fashioned to a traditional Gansey design with an extended skirt. The ten minute performance saw both dress and performer locked in a cyclical battle; the weighted dress pulling down preventing Kirstie from reaching the surface.



Barocco, 2009-2019

Global collaborative embroidery & performance.

Art Dubai 2009 The Royal Academy, London 2010

 Valcellina Award, Italy 2012 Gallery Maeght, Paris 2012 Rook & Raven Gallery 2015

50 Embroiderers. 15 Countries. 1 Dress

Funded by the British Council, Barocco is a decade-long embroidery project by British artist Kirstie Macleod that is centred around a single red dress.

Since 2009, the dress has traveled around the world being continuously embroidered and added to by 50 different participants to date. Its most recent contributors include the Bedouin Fanasina collective, a group of female embroiderers based in Egypt’s Sinai who provide economic independence and education to women in the region.

Taken from the ancient Portuguese word for a “rough or imperfect pearl”, Barocco is a performance piece where Kirstie Macleod sits within a central perspex cube wearing and embroidering the ornate red dress that fills the tiny space around her.

Over the remaining five years, elements of Barocco will be worked on and over by embroiderers around the globe until the dress is so heavily decorated that the dress and its bodice will be able to stand up on its own as a sculptural exhibit within its Perspex cube. Individually delicate and decorative, the unique stitches by people all over the world add the layers and layers of expression that create the strong and rigid armor of the art piece that is the Barocco dress.

The piece makes tangible the interplay through embroidery between a variety of cultures, each with their own identity and experience, who express themselves through their stitches.

Barocco 2009-2019 (Image: Art Dubai)

Barocco 2009 - 2019 (Image: Royal Academy, London)

Barocco (detail 2015)

Barocco (detail) 2015

Barocco (detail) 2015

Emelan, 2009 (Image Art Dubai)

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,


Enwrought with golden and silver light,


The blue and the dim and the dark cloths


Of night and light and the half light,


I would spread the cloths under your feet:


But I, being poor, have only my dreams


I have spread my dreams under your feet;


Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.





WB Yeats: Cloths of Heaven



A dreaming dress that articulates the inner emotions of a sleeping performer. A skirt, enlarged to gigantic proportions, fills and overflows the space into the surrounding area.


Emelan, 2009 (Image Philips de Pury)

Durational Performance

Chatelaine Costume 2010

Certoza Arts Festival, Capri, Italy.

A bespoke dress for a performance conceived by Jonathan Levi, which entered around a collection of keys created over a 10 year period by artist Elma Mckay; the dress was worn by a Chatelaine; a keeper of these keys.

The costume was created using 130m of silk dupion in varying shades of turquoise and blues; mirroring the Amalfi coastline outside. A fitted boned corset with 'seashell' pleated bodice sat the centre of a huge 20m diameter skirt.

Bijou, 2008

Animated film

A little black dress unravels and nails itself to the floor; trapping the performer inside.

Performer: Gabrielle Keyzar

Sound Design: Tom Sedgwick

Aislin, 2008

Cotton, linen and silk dress sewn with grass seed and grown in the garden

Photographer: Igor Tolstoy

Performer: Gabrielle Keyzar