When it comes to subject matter, textile artist Mister Finch finds himself drawn to woodland specimens and whimsical beasts like a moth to a flame.
While the pieces created by Leeds-based artist Mister Finch look as if they were plucked straight from a forest, they are not of your common garden variety. Reminiscent of vintage botanical illustrations and evoking the charm and enchantment of a storybook, one might expect to see the artist’s flora, fauna, and fungi specimens mounted behind glass or displayed in a bell jar. This is because Finch, who goes solely by his remarkably fitting surname, seeks to “create specimens that look like they have been collected from somewhere else”. Moths sporting wings of fleshy velvet, cobwebs comprised of twiddled nylon, and speckled textile magpies are among his enchanting body of work, whose components Finch has described as “fairytale samples”.
Due to the astonishing level of care and detail apparent in his art, one may be surprised to hear that Finch is entirely self-taught when it comes to sewing, as he “works alone and makes everything himself by hand”. By combining his hand-sewn vintage textile bodies with unwanted objects found at car boot sales and thrift shops, Finch is able to create exquisite works that both transcend reality and remain down-to-earth. Old postcards become specimen mounts, while “a lonely chess piece or a stray bead” suddenly sprouts a purpose. While Finch is typically busy as a bee sorting out new homes for his creatures, he does, occasionally, grow attached and keep them for himself — like Oonah, a moth with “a beautiful white fur body and carpet for wings” who’s now perched on a wall in his “studio full of books, glass jars, and naughty cats”.
Interested in these delightful creatures but not near Mister Finch’s neck of the woods? No Problem! Check out his little shop on Etsy or his portfolio if you find his beasts to be your tarnished cup of tea.
*All images used with permission by Mister Finch