Biserka was born in Newcastle in 1991 and graduated from Leeds University with a first class degree in Philosophy and HPS (the History and Philosophy of Science) in 2013. After a brief stint working as an illustrator, she began embroidering in 2015. She is self taught and creates almost all her work freehand using hand embroidery. [You can see an example of that process here: 1 2 3]
Biserka’s work navigates the difficult spaces of existence; from mental and physical illness to personal and group identity. It takes these spaces and tries to find something beautiful in them, celebrating the strange, deformed and marginalised.
As a result, her pieces are melancholic but hopeful, never resting purely on one side of the positive / negative divide. Rather than being a conscious choice, this reflects the complicated nature of life itself and of the attempt to understand the experiences we all go through.
Her work has been exhibited internationally and is held in private collections across the country.
Also, it's pronounced BIS-e-ka. Just pretend the 'r' is silent.
Whilst having been artistically inclined for most of my life, I only began embroidering in the middle of 2015, with my first exhibitions in early 2016.
With my work I am trying to understand the human condition and the deep, subconscious parts of ourselves - our shadow sides - because these have a bearing on our identities and how we engage with the conscious world. They are half of our lived reality. So my art is not thoroughly planned; it is felt rather than thought. Created either freehand, or from stream of consciousness drawings, the meanings reveal themselves as the pieces come together. I enjoy how the slow and labourious nature of embroidery gives thoughts and ideas time to work themselves through and evolve into something whilst a piece is being completed.
With my work I want to pull people back from the materialistic, fast-paced, surface-level society we live in and inspire a slowing down, contemplation and inner exploration of how pointless and stupid and (therefore) interesting and wonderful life is. To highlight all the other planes we exist on and, however briefly, reintroduce our conscious and subconscious selves.
Currently my work is evolving to include drawn and written elements, from dream diaries to the words and experiences of other people feeling their way through life. I am also playing with the durational element of embroidery, using the reproduction of things such as text and printed paper in the work. Features which are usually produced so quickly in their normal medium become bizarre and almost meditative. Is there any meaning in spending 30 hours sewing squared paper? I also enjoy teasing out the small moments of play that punctuate the occasional boredom of repetitive tasks such as these and how they change the final work.
Are you Still Nasty?, 16 November, Nasty Women North East, UK
State of Mind, 15 - 20 July, East Street Arts - Northallerton, UK
Mythology, 8 April - 6 May, Ann St Gallery - Newburgh NY, USA
Nasty Women Newcastle, 7-23 April, Byker Community Centre - Newcastle, UK
Modern Panic VII, Newspeak House - London, UK
Biscuit Factory Winter Collection, Biscuit Factory - Newcastle, UK
Transcribe / Translate, System Gallery - Newcastle, UK
Salon des Refusés 2016, SPACE - London, UK
Open Contemporary Portrait Award, Biscuit Factory - Newcastle, UK
The Victorian Dinner Table, Gallery at Munro House / Leeds Libraries - Leeds, UK