Sabatina Leccia is the perfect example of why I’m drawn to textiles. Her perspective has a focus on the meditative quality of craft and the connection to process. Her intricate embroidery pieces (all of which are improvised) seem to transport you to the peaceful state of mind that she herself was in during creation.
I adored getting to know her as much as I adore her work, and I’m grateful for the chance to connect and discuss her pieces that I’ve been following for a couple years now. Currently a full-time artist living in Paris, Sabatina has created in a variety of mediums but has had a strong focus in embroidery. We discussed how she got where she is, what her work means, and what she’s looking to in the future.
Growing up on an island south of France, she started embroidery as a child with her mother. Surrounded by artists throughout her upbringing, Sabatina feels like she had and has no choice other than being an artist. She worked in high fashion at Marion Chopineau’s studio and studied History and Archeology at la Sorbonne in Paris. After these experiences she ultimately opted to focus on what she really wanted to do, which was to freely express herself and her art.
There’s a line from her website that really resonated with me, it says “Sabatina wants to bring back a little bit of slowness and softness by creating handmade and colorful pieces on the border between art, craft and design.” When asked about this, Sabatina explained the pull between these worlds, all of which feel quite segregated in France. “People tell me that I’m in craft, but if I’m craft I’m too artistic” and vice versa. She doesn’t actually believe in these walls, and understands the link between these three worlds, in the sense that they are all telling a story and message. In many ways the message of her embroidery is really a questioning of the world that many of us live in today.
Embroidery is reintroducing the notion of time in slowness, it’s strongly a meditative process for Sabatina. Staying in a slow state of mind for her art is something that is not always easy in the city of Paris. And she often feels a disconnect between the world around her that is so attracted to busyness. But this disconnect fuels her further, as it reaffirms her path to be grounded and free.
Right now, after a year of creating full-time, freedom is a large component of Sabitina’s approach and draw to her life. She believes in the space that’s needed to be creative, but also to be happy. With her freedom she finds inspiration in nature, with her textile artist friends, and in poetry. Right now her favorite sources of inspiration come from the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwich and the music of Leonard Cohen.
Collaboration is also key to keep the creative energy moving. She’s currently working on a piece with Alix Waline, that will be exhibited at Gallery Trevoe. They have also created beautiful cushions made out of cotton which you can find here.
So what’s in the future for Sabatina? She wants to do an artist residency abroad, and create more installation-style embroidery. She also believes in using textiles as a way to create a link between people, and plans to do a workshop with refugees. Whatever she does, I’m sure that she’ll continue to push the traditional boundaries of her craft and inspire the rest of us. Stay in touch with her projects on her Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, or Website.