Victorian Embroidery Simulator
- Sarah Da Silva Marques

Sarah Da Silva Marques is a storyteller first and an artist second. She works in what she calls “kind of a Batman thing”, conquering her childhood fears of puppets and dolls by using them in her disturbing yet comedic tales—though it has also earned her the nickname of “That Weird Puppet Girl”. Her practice leads her to experiment with a variety of materials in both video and installation, however her recent work focuses on interactive storytelling. Da Silva Marques aspires to create outrageous yet inviting worlds that highlight the oddities of everyday life and transform them into grand scenarios.

The Victorian Embroidery Simulator allows participants to create beautiful embroideries at the touch of a button on their phones. The simulator does not require technical skills in embroidery or even creativity. It only requires participants to remain completely focused on the task at hand, and ignore all distractions presented in the simulator. Idle hands are the tools of the Devil. The Victorian Embroidery Simulator is an interactive story that can be engaged with almost any mobile device. Participants simply need to scan an embroidered QR code, that will bring them to a webpage. Each “page” of the story will be illustrated through embroidery. Participants will be presented with options, which will move the story along. If they choose the proper path, they will complete their embroidery. Participants will be presented with diversions they must overcome to complete their embroidery. Diversions such as; pre-marital sex, marriage proposals, spinsterhood, pregnancy, hysteria, the workforce, demonic possession, wormholes to alternative universes, etc. The Victorian Embroidery Simulator reflects on how we sometimes see the world through blinders, missing out on opportunities which seem like distractions. The medium of embroidery is often associated with flowers, gentle animals and domesticity. If the viewer chooses to stray from the path leading to the perfect traditional Victorian embroidery, they are able to see the medium explore different subject matter and themes. Embroidery requires hours of focus on a piece of fabric, like we spend hours on our phones. Both past times can entrance people, making them loose track of time and what is going on around them