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Melbourne artist does macabre embroidery on his own skin

Adipocere is the pseudonym of an Australian artist that takes embroidery to a whole different level, rendering eerie images on both fabrics and human skin.

Identified only as Josh, (his full name has never been disclosed publicly) this Australian dabbled in different mediums including stop-motion animation before landing in the world of embroidery just three years ago.

His first attempt was to create a cross stitch of the iconic Facehugger from the Alien films accompanied with the text “Free hugs”.

8 hour feral goat study. Inspiration for less-domestic goats from some old book pages @billsafi sent me some time ago. Did this on my backpack, and already miss the familiarity of natural linen. Hand embroidery on black polyester, I guess. #embroidery #whitephillip #goat

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Animation sheet of my Leminscate Skull Study available at Small Works 2017, @beinartgallery – opening July 29th. Hand embroidery on natural linen. Enquiries & purchase: sales@beinart.org #embroidery #skullstudy #existentialism

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Adipocere explained his first piece to Yen Arts blog, “It was a template I found online, which helped teach me the basics of needle and thread work. I did my first embroidery soon after, and that’s that.”

The enigmatic artist has come a long way since that first attempt, garnering more than 64k followers on his Instagram account, opening his own online store and perfecting his technique to a point where he can create images smaller than a fingernail.

His themes revolve around witchcraft and the occult. First he sketches his uncanny cats, goats and skulls with a water soluble marker and then starts stitching over it. Linen is often his material of choice, but in his never ending search for ingenious ways to evolve the artform, Josh has also experimented with human skin. Specifically, he experiments doing embroidery on the palm of his hand.

Hand embroidery on human skin, 3/138 stitches. Would love to have this filmed properly. For now, here's the poor composition captured via tripod. #embroidery #刺繍 #bme

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“I’m always looking to try new things. I really like the idea of expanding the medium. I’d also seen a conceptual piece by Eliza Bennett where she embroidered her skin. I wasn’t looking to make any profound political statement with mine, my skin is literally just another material to experiment with – and that’s precisely what interests me.”

If that doesn’t sounds morbidly awesome enough, just wait until you hear about his next project.

“I’m currently harvesting abandoned spider webs, which I untangle, clean, and re-structure to create my own thread. Hopefully I’ll have yielded enough to embroider with within the next year.”

Melbourne artist creates macabre works of embroidery that will freak you out by Benjamin Pineros

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About the author

Filmmaker. 3D artist. Procrastination guru. I spend most of my time doing VFX work for my upcoming film Servicios Públicos, a sci-fi dystopia about robots, overpopulated cities and tyrant states. @iampineros

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