A pink potato, some nuts and radishes, a travelling cat… welcome to the poetic universe of Konekono Kitsune!
Photos – © Konekono Kitsune – photos protected by copyright – thank you
Interview – Claire de Pourtalès
This discreet Japanese artist has chosen a poetic name, Konekono Kitsune which means “a fox-looking kitten”.
As her grandmother was a master of embroidery, Konekono Kitsune was aware of the art of needle and thread from a young age. But as she reached adulthood, she stopped making things with her hands.
She lived many years in a world “unrelated to expression” and she felt something was missing in her life.
With her partner, she started walking in a nearby park and saw many stray cats there. Her imagination came alive again and she created the story of a traveling stray cat born in a tulip. She wanted to tell a story of how the cat would eventually grow “splendidly with the help of animals and plants”.
But the syndrome of the blank page/canevas stopped her from going very far (for now…). As she moved from one stitched image to the next, she realized that she didn’t know how to make the stitches she needed, and she let the story aside. She then turned to vegetables.
* After our email exchanges, Konekono Kitsune has told me that she has decided to pick up her poetic story again!
Her sister shares with her the vegetables she grows in her garden. Konekono Kitsune got a sudden inspiration, started to stitch a vegetable, and realised that she might be “better at stitching real things than imaginary ones”.
She then shared her embroidery on Instagram and received many praises for it, which made her very happy and keen to stitch another one. “I don’t know why, but my vegetables look alive!”
To create her unique pieces, she has to look at the vegetable while it is fresh, to capture its details before “it is damaged”. For bigger works, she will need to “buy many times the same vegetable!”
She doesn’t follow any specific process, but she usually starts by drawing a rough sketch before copying into a cloth. To give some relief, she adds bits of felts. Then it is just observing and stitching, trying to create a three-dimensional result.
She has a great admiration for Kazuko Aoki: “Her flowers and plants are all wonderful. She is a world-class Japanese artist.” She wants to learn from this ancient tradition, but also from all the artists she follows on Instagram.
At the moment she just enjoys making vegetables and other eatables (nuts, mushrooms…), as freely as she can. She only accepted one commission so far, for a “enthusiastic vegetables producer”! She feels she has a lot to learn and improve before selling her works.
Her next challenge, a full-scale broccoli!
Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/konekono_kitsune/