Martine APAOLAZA, textile artist
Embroidered landscapes
I have been sewing since youth but I did any academic training in visual art or in embroidery.
Patchwork came slowly into my life when I was about 18 years old, in the form of two large landscapes, stitched from the raw edges with the sewing machine and sewn absolutely freely.
Then everything became dormant due to a lack of time monopolized by workload and the kids. However a little music was regularly coming like a chorus “little bakery, little local shop and the jars full of coloured sweets”, and above all childhood, again and again, pervasive, city and field mouse. Childhood shunted from the house in the city with its garden and my paternal grandparents house (Them! Vegetable patch and ornamental garden worthy of the Peter Rabbit's one! Leaving their mark forever!) My father's shop (Refrigeration and air conditioning technician, equipment for restaurants and communities) located at the bottom of an old building probably influences my work too, following some severe health problems, he converted himself in salesman for the company Singer, another source of influence and my mother taught me how to use a sewing machine and to knit.
In the past couple of decades patchwork broadly reinvents itself in a decisive and invasive way (specially for contemporary art). I practised alone then with books and lessons (France patchwork) others in Sainte Marie-Aux-Mines with renowned artists contributed to my universe to emerge.
From that moment I have been telling stories with stitched pieces of fabrics.
Even if I started by using a sewing machine (the Colette's house, the Christmas market, the market..) tried out the free motion embroidery. I have been working only by hand for a long time and I shrunk the size of my embroideries. I can express myself better through a smaller size, it is currently impossible to consider working with large format. Then embroideries give life to my works of art, I like to handle former advertising slogans and stage my characters.
My universe is populated with city centres, old style shops, pastoral walks, priest and vegetable gardens. My childhood and old advertising are the main sources of my inspiration. I dedicate myself a passion to advertising which stages kids, my main reference is Firmin Bouisset. The old Paris and its painting (a nod to the capital with the name of the main streets). Zola's work is omnipresent in my mind, this writer is the one who could reveal the linen world and all its professions, the harshness of the “grisettes” as he used to call them, not only the laundry supervisors, the dress-makers, the embroider but also the linen sellers, the old Paris and the emergence of department stores. (“The ladies delight” or “L'assomoir”) everything which is trendy today comes from this source.
The life of Coco Chanel also inspired me “Coco is making hats!” was a resounding success during the art exibition. It is Gervaise from “L'assomoir that I wanted to represent. Impressionists and their gardens, old city centers and shops are an endless source of inspiration. Colette inspires me too with her characters or when she starts talking about haber dashery.
I also reproduce (with the agreement of the artist) some Naive Art paintings of Denis Bouquier from Franche-Comté but with my embroideries. We became friends and exhibited my embroideries with him in the city of Mlbuisson (25) in France in 2008.
I often show my embroideries in my region, in galleries or shops.
In September 2011 the “crossroads of Europe” of patchwork in Sainte-Marie-Aux-Mines opened its doors to real acknoledgement and magic.
This exhibition is a true reference point in the world of textile. I have been teaching my techniques for several years during gradual trainings. I often say that I am embroiderying as breathing!


- NADELWELT à KARLSRUHE les 10, 11, 12 juin 2016

- Quiltensud 3 au 6 juin 2015
- PRAGUE PATCHWORK MEETING 10 au 12 avril 2015
- CARREFOUR EUROPEEN DU PATCHWORK expo des 20 ans  18 au 21/09/14
- "POUR L'AMOUR DU FIL" Nantes 23 au 26 avril 2014
- "Les aiguilles se mettent au vert" 25 NANS S.ST ANNE Mai 2014
- SITGES (Espagne) AEP du 20 au 23 mars 2014.
- "les aiguilles se mettent au vert" 25 NANS S ST ANNE Mai 2013
- Salon "Aux fils croisés" 74  La Roche S/FORON juin 2013
- Salon des créateurs (03 Bourbon l'Archambault) fils de la Burge oct/2012
-"les aiguilles se mettent au vert" 25 NANS S ST ANNE Mai 2012
- salon de LINAS 91 "plaisirs des aiguilles" octobre 2011
- Galerie ASEP 25 BESANCON automne 2010
- "les aiguilles se mettent au vert" 25 NANS S ST ANNE Mai 2010
- salon de LINAS 91 "plaisirs des aiguilles" octobre 2010
- "les aiguilles se mettent au vert" 25 NANS S STE ANNE Mai 2009
- salle communale de MALBUISSON 25 juillet 2008 avec D.BAUQUIER
- Galerie ASEP 25 BESANCON Automne 2007
- Créations Passion octobre 2006 (25 POUILLEY LES VIGNES"
- Galerie ASEP 25 BESANCON Pintemps 2003