From shoes to tennis rackets, she transforms everyday objects with lifelike embroidery.

Danielle Clough doesn't consider herself an artist, but she may be the only one.

"Honestly, I think of myself as a embroiderer," she writes in an e-mail interview. "Maybe it's because I don't feel I can put myself into the same category as some of my art heroes."

Clough may not put herself into the same category, but her work certainly does.


Clough's embroidered portrait of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Photo by Danielle Clough, used with permission.

The 28-year-old Cape Town native is a fiber artist, but her work isn't limited to traditional hoops or fabric.

She's embroidered chicken wire, tennis rackets, shoes — anything she's drawn to. Her lack of formal training provides a freedom and creativity that's tough to define.

Photo by Danielle Clough, used with permission.

"I've found that not knowing the rules has served me," she writes. "Sometimes the dos and dont's that you learn stop you from trying something and figuring out what it is you really enjoy."

Photo by Danielle Clough, used with permission.

Her unbridled passion and creativity led her to a unique project with the United Nations.

Yes, that United Nations.

The U.N. approached Clough and other artists to create pieces interpreting points on the agenda of the World Humanitarian Summit, held in May 2016.

Clough's commissioned piece spoke to the summit's initiative to "prevent and end conflict." An idea that was that substantial required a medium a bit bigger than a small patch or tennis racket, so Clough decided to embroider her first piece on a rusted piece of fence. She called it "Borders and Boundaries."

Photo by By Jono, used with permission from Danielle Clough.

"The ideas of boundaries and borders are very relevant today," she told Creative Boom. "Either feeling bound to them or trapped behind them; Our kindness and understanding depending on what side of the fence we are on. ... If we look at the things that divide us differently, if we see our differences as opportunity we can see that we are all stitched together. We can find peace."

Photo by By Jono, used with permission from Danielle Clough.

Clough's latest project is a series of embroidered portraits for the cover of the book "Queer Africa II."

The second anthology of short fiction stories celebrates of the diversity of African LGBTQ people and their love for each other and the continent they call home.

Clough found and photographed people who shared that vision, some complete strangers. Like all of her embroidered portraits, Clough used a black-and-white photograph as reference before coloring the faces in with thread.

Janine. Photos by Danielle Clough, used with permission.

Each portrait is barely a few inches tall, making the detail and lifelike work all the more impressive.

Qwezi. Photos by Danielle Clough, used with permission.

"I chose bright colors and images where gender and race lines could be blurred," Clough recalls. "I was most influenced by the subjects' personalities because of the time I spent with them, which was strangely comfortable and intimate."

Lesego. Photos by Danielle Clough, used with permission.

She kept in touch with each subject while she worked, turning the process into a unique shared experience, and even gifted them with a large print of their final artwork.

"That was really special," she writes.

From rackets to shoes to fences and back again, each piece Clough creates is vibrant, powerful, and truly unique...

...especially for someone who doesn't consider herself an artist.

"Like a builder or carpenter, I just want to make stuff."

Photo by By Jono, used with permission from Danielle Clough.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less