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Salley Mavor’s Bedtime Stitches

March 2 @ 10:00 am - May 5 @ 5:00 pm

Salley Mavor’s Bedtime Stitches
March 2, 2024 – May 5, 2024

Award winning fiber artist Salley Mavor has spent four decades developing her signature style, carving out her own niche within the children’s book world and the fiber art community.  Mavor’s three-dimensional embroidered tableaus have been used as children’s book illustrations, social commentary, and stop-motion animation.

For Salley Mavor, a needle is her tool, thread her medium, and stitches are her marks.  From her home studio in Falmouth, Massachusetts, she has illustrated 11 children’s picture books using her distinctive blend of materials and hand-stitching techniques.

The Upcountry History Museum will partner with Salley Mavor for the third time, when it hosts original artwork from her latest book, My Bed: Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep around the World, published in 2020.  The book, illustrated by Mavor, features three-dimensional art showcasing “the universal theme of children sleeping safe in their beds”.

From Afghanistan to Ghana to Scandinavia and South America, both the story and the art connect visitors with a sense of home and familiarity.  Visual clues, made with a variety of materials including fabric, beads, wire, and found objects, provide unique opportunities for visitors of all ages to experience the three-dimensional quality of Salley’s storytelling.

The exhibit, titled Salley Mavor: Bedtime Stitches, features eighteen pieces of original artwork created for the book. Each of the distinctive sculptural artworks is created like a shadow box, containing Mavor’s detailed, intricate designs and embroideries in a 3-D picture, assembled like a tiny stage set with its own scenery and characters.

The miniature children fall asleep in an endless variety of ways, on hammocks, straw mats, colorful woven rugs and futons; in curtained cupboards, cubby holes, and quilt-covered four-posters. They nod off in houseboats rocking on the water; next to a warm stove or under the stars on a rooftop; with their favorite toys nearby. The tiny animals that accompany the children in each frame provide what Mavor calls “visual clues” to each geographic region, as do the traditional designs and patterns found within each illustration.

The result is a colorful and immersive experience for a multi-generational audience, highlighting the universal act of cozying into bed.


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March 2 @ 10:00 am
May 5 @ 5:00 pm
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