Little Secrets is a progression of Patricia Casey’s interest in interior worlds, private spaces, memory and dreams. Her subjects are caught in a moment of private reverie, veiled by elements of the natural world. The mundane is manipulated and transformed into a surreal tableau in which the viewer is invited into a state of internal reflection.
These photographic montages, printed on archival cotton fabric, are all delicately hand embroidered by Casey – individual works taking anywhere between 10-40 hours. Using glittering thread and coloured cotton, the artist follows the contours of branches, leaf patterns and blossoms with tiny backstitch and French knots – mimicking the circulatory system and nerve pathways hidden within the human body. A flow of energy gently vibrates from the surface of each artwork, enticing the viewer to imagine a secret world beneath these dreamlike images.
There are layers of complexity in Casey’s works. Beauty is contrasted with unease and we are uncertain as to whether the subjects gaze is inward or outward; are they the watched or the watching; hidden or revealed?
Casey’s work makes reference to the historical tradition of memento mori in which a lock of human hair, embroidery, fabric, or ribbon are used to decorate the frame or surface area around a treasured photograph, thus transforming the image from a documentary tool into a vehicle of the present.