Tag Archives: embroidery

Grande Dame Talks to Whistleblower Gallery!

There’s a new gallery in Brighton and I am very happy to be one of the represented artists. Whistleblower Gallery is Dan Hipkin’s new project. Dan is a super amazing guy and was the former head curator of ink-d Gallery, Brighton. It was Dan’s keen eye for upcoming talent that really helped put ink-d on the map. He curated shows for Ryan Callanan, Carrie Reichardt, Modern Toss, Eelus, James Cauty, Jake-Wood Evans, Eine, Jon Burgerman, Peter Kennard, Sir Peter Blake, Sarah Shaw, Dan Baldwin, Lady Aiko, Paul Scott, Matt Smith, Maria Rivans, Alex Binnie, Pinky, Petro, Jamie Hewlett, Ian Hodgson, Andy Doig, Snub, Sten & Lex, Req, and myself; as well as many more talented artists.
I sat down with him a few weeks back and discussed many things, from growing up in the deep south, to early influences, animation, embroidery and more! Click either pic or HERE to read. So excited to be a part of this new artist hub! Watch this space! oxo GD
*Pics @whistleblowergallery

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Come Together and Reflect The Light!

Wow, what happened? I like many others around the planet am terrified of the future. Yesterday I was completely overcome by the feeling of vultures flying around my stomach. Just listening to the new administration’s first agenda was horrific. It’s like all the villains from your worst nightmare have united to lord over us. I don’t know what’s in store. But I do know we must come together and love each other and celebrate our friends and family now more than ever.

Today is my uncle Diggie’s birthday. He would have been 70. He died of AIDS in 1986. Yesterday when the reality of the horror set in, I couldn’t help flashing back to when I was a young teenager having to deal with his death. Diggie was my everything. He had been the center of my universe since I was a baby. I planned my entire life around him, and bragged to all my school friends about how amazing he was – artist, actor, musical playwright, costume and set designer, fluent in 7 languages and world traveller! And so MUCH MORE! He was the ultimate bohemian. Leaving my small Georgia town to go visit him in New Orlean’s French Quarter every year was beyond amazing! He created this fantasy world for me, which honestly – saved me from suicide (I was severely bullied for being different) as I knew one day I would be able to be with him and live a bohemian life too! Back then, esp in the south, it was believed that AIDS was the scourge of God against the homosexual for sinning. Even tho we were 400 miles apart, Diggie was the rock of our little family – Mamma, Me & Him. To be losing the center of my universe was too much to bear; but to make matters more complicated, for our own protection, Mamma and I vowed to keep it to ourselves. Not out of embarrassment, but out of fear. Fear of vandalism on our property and harassment from the community. It was hard enough losing the rock of our family, having to be taunted during our months of sorrow would have broken us. That was from 15 to 16 years old. I was losing the most important person in my life, but I had to keep it to myself. Needless to say I just did not go to school that year and nearly failed 10th grade. I remember being on a school trip, one of the mothers was there to chaperone. She was big in the evangelical church and kept telling stories “of all the faggots” back when she was in college. I mentioned to her to not use the world, it was offensive to me, but she laughed in my face and continued her banter. Oddly enough her daughter, also big in the Evangelical church – grew up to have her very own Ugandan charity – and her BFF – on the executive board of Pro Life. These are my former classmates. To be that young in that time of the 80s, where genocide of a generation was happening (I lost a cousin I was close to as well as dozens of friends) and the govt ignored it, made jokes about it, and the raving lunatic christian right condemned the dying for their wicked ways – that shaped my young mind, and made me so fearful of the future. And opened my eyes to the hypocrisy of religion. Luckily times did change and we went forward for some time, then backwards again, then forward and backwards. And that is life a constant cycle of push and pull.
That’s what it felt like yesterday. That feeling of fear and dread. That is why we have to unite and love each other. We have to be vigilant to fight for the common good of the people. We have to stop and breath and appreciate the goodness that is around us! It’s hard to see but it is there! Hug your family and friends! Hug your animals and do something nice for a stranger! Let’s reach out and open our hearts and minds and become a strong, positive force in the world. We can change things. We are the light! The pic above is from one of my uncles sketchbooks. Even tho he left this earth 30 years ago – he is still with me! I am so lucky to have met him.

I am off to London to have my Cosmic Reflection Party. I will honor my uncle’s life with love! I hope to see my friends there too! Lets be the Cosmic Reflectors! The Angles of Light! Please come by Philip Normals after 6pm tonight at 45 Brixton Village. Say hello and have a drink, have some hugs and pick up a special protecting amulet/ magic portal to another dimension made with love and care always. Love to you all! OXO GD

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Grande Dame’s Cosmic Reflections in London Nov 10th!

Grande Dame’s Cosmic Reflections. Magic Power Shields to deflect bad energy. Made with love always. No 2 are alike. Each one handmade from original Grande Dame designed fabric remnants. Hand stitched, with machine embroidery and sequin and spangle embellishments. They will be on display at Philip Normals Shop in Brixton Village. On Thurs Nov 10th I will be having a PV. So please come down and say hello and have a look! I am hoping to have around 40 eggs in total. Each one made with love and care from my fabric design scraps. I will have 3 sizes available selling at £30/£50/£70 each – so totally affordable art! Perfect xmas prezzies too! The PV starts at 6pm and runs until 9. Be great to see some old faces! Click here or pic for info! Toodles! oxo GD



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Grande Galleries Open!

This is a long time overdue, BUT I finally got around to putting my art archives up online! To be honest, it’s not EVERYTHING I have done, but a good majority of my work. I joined this new site PRZM. It’s cool because unlike ETSY, you can feature work for sale, but also show previous sold works, which is great, as I have many! And unlike Flickr, where you just have images, you can also have buy options! Pretty cool! It took me ages to put it together, and I am still adding to it, but a good portion of my creations are up and viewable to the world. There is a lot to see! So make a cup of tea and have a gander! If you see anything that catches your eye, get in touch! Click pic or here! More soon! oxo GD

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Alien Faces, Moths In Flight & Other Workshop Wonders!

Last Saturday’s Psychedelic Stitching Workshop at ink-d Gallery was a total blast! Above are some of the examples of the pieces the ladies made! I love what they did so much! It’s amazing how a bit of thread can transform an image! I see so many different things – mainly Alien Smiley Faces & Moths in Flight! They are like embroidered Rorschach Tests! WOW!!!
In fact their work inspired me to hand stitch accents as well! As an artist, it’s easy to get stuck in a routine of working. I am a colour depositor – I fill up areas with as much as poss! So this was a new technique for me too! I love it all!
myegg2 Thank you ladies for coming down and taking part! And opening my eyes to new ways of doing things! Lovely to meet you all! And also thank you to ink-d gallery for hosting the event! Fab day all round! Result! oxo gd

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Win A Free Space at My Workshop!

Ink-d Gallery
in Brighton are giving away one free spot to my embroidery  workshop – Psychedelic Stitching – this Saturday! It’s going to be a fun class! You don’t even need to know how to sew! I didn’t when I first taught myself – anyone can do it, trust me!

A video posted by grandedame (@grandedame) on

Here’s a little video demo of me in action working on The Cosmic Collar Gown! See – easy peasy! In order to win – you just have to answer one question – What was my moniker before Grande Dame? Hmmm… Click the pic or here to enter! oxo GD

Photo by Luke Mescalito

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Psychedelic Stitching With Grande Dame!

Dear UK Friends! As I currently have a new body of fabric work on view at ink-d gallery, they thought it would be fitting for me to give a talk. I am happy to announce Saturday Dec 12th I will be doing a workshop called – Psychedelic Stitching With Grande Dame!

Learn freehand machine embroidery with me by stitching on one of my psychedelic fabric designs from Burning Man. Also hear about my adventures in the desert at the wildest art festival on earth!
In this workshop you will instructed in basic satin stitching – an integral part of all my embroidery work – by adding a top stitch embellishment to one of my psychedelic fabric cuts. In the end you will have your very own embroidered piece of Grande Dame Fabric Art – that you top stitched – to take home, in a hoop frame!
This entire collar was done with satin stitching. I just love everything about it – the way it catches the light, the tactileness of it, you just want to touch it!  It is indeed, a very sensual stitch! And pretty much the only one I do on all of my pieces!

The cost of the class is £30, it’s 3 hours long, and refreshments will be served. What a bargain & in the end you get to take a little piece of Burning Man 2015 home with you! So click here or the pix to sign up! Only 10 spaces available! oxo gd

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