The new Madeira UK HQ is home to four panels of stunning embroidery by the award-winning embroiderer Jacky Puzey. She explains the inspiration and technique behind the artwork

The Urban Leopards, Neon Cities embroidered artwork was inspired by the Cities episode of the BBC 1 series Planet Earth II.

The programme included a segment on the co-existence of, and tension between, Mumbai’s human inhabitants and the living ‘city ghosts’ – the jungle leopards of Sanjay Gandhi National Park that live within the city’s boundaries and hunt domesticated animals under the cover of darkness.

The panels varied in stitch count – the largest were around 250,000 in stitch count, the smallest, 30,000

Jackey used Madeira UK’s Classic and Frosted Matte threads

The artwork is composed of four panels, which in total measure 2.4m wide by 2m high

These darkly elegant animals are captured in rich illustrative embroidery with the bright neon colours of modern Mumbai intertwining with its faded 1920s Art Deco history.

The leopards appear from behind silhouetted leaves in an urban garden setting as they move through the undergrowth at night, with their ‘eye shine’ from the lamps above being the only ‘tell’ to the humans around them. Butterflies shimmer in the hazy monsoon city darkness.

The collision of urban and nature becomes a beautiful meditation on our urgent need to co-habit better with the natural world.
Photography by Jo Hounsome:

For more details on how Jacky Puzey created this embroidery, plus the equipment and techniques used, visit our December 2023 issue here