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Last Updated: Monday, 12 March 2007, 15:21 GMT
Doherty text inspires embroidery
Tracy Moberly. Picture supplied by www.evansimages.co.uk
Each canvas takes Ms Moberly hundreds of hours to sew
A text from Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty has become the inspiration for a Victorian-style cross-stitch sampler.

The text said: "Eels slip down a treat" after Doherty failed to persuade artist Tracey Moberly to eat jellied eels.

The work is part of a series based on every text message sent to Ms Moberly, 42, originally from Gilfach in the Rhymney Valley.

She said one reason she decided to turn text messages into art was to give a "disposable medium" more permanence.

"It's like they [text messages] are such a throwaway medium, but the words can be meaningful and deep," said Ms Moberly, who said she had kept every text message she had been sent since 1998.

She has been friends with Pete Doherty for some years, and in 2003 he appeared on the Christmas edition of a radio show she presents, where they had the traditional East End delicacy of jellied eels in the studio.

"He [Doherty] was trying to teach me how to eat them, and to me it tasted like cold, wet, dead dog and I couldn't even hold them in my mouth," she said.

Pete Doherty eating pie and mash. Photo: Max Reeves
Friend Doherty's eels text was the inspiration

She later received the text from him, and is turning it into a sampler because its "slight sexual innuendo" fits the theme of the next instalment of a series of exhibitions called Text-Me-Up-Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll.

She is hoping that instalment will appear before the end of the year, but has a lot of stitching to complete before then, with each cross-stitch canvas measuring at least one square metre.

"They take hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours," she explained.

Embroidery is just one of the types of work produced by Ms Moberly, who originally trained in fine art in Newport.

Now living in London's East End, she produces a host of other media including photography, spinning, weaving, metalwork, mosaic, paintings and sonograms - visual depictions of sound waves.

In 2005, she created sonogram canvases based on audio diaries kept by veteran politician Tony Benn throughout his career.

Ms Moberly's current work inspired by text messages, as part of Text-Me-Up-Five, is at the Nancy Victor Gallery, London W1 until 27 March.

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