Due to heavy snow and the heater shop sending the installer with the wrong components, I still do not have a heater in my studio (being installed in 2 days, fingers crossed!). Fed up with not being able to work I went to my studio and brought my work back home. Cat's be damned I was going to stitch! (Cat's love textiles and fibre, especially my cats. I anticipated it being hell trying to stitch at my kitchen table, what with curious claws tugging at my threaded needle while I worked and certain felines absconding with my threads. However, my cats have been perfectly well behaved and not once have I left my work to come back to find a cat sitting on it (a common occurrence before I had my studio)).
As a result I have made significant progress on the work I started about 9 weeks ago. This work will be the first in a series of 8 to 10 works. I gave a sneak preview on my previous blog, but today I will reveal all. I'm not going to talk about what it means here (that is for another post), but I will show you what I've been up to and how it is being made.
Here's a photo of the whole piece. As you can see it has a central representational element heavily surrounded by abstract gold work. In the centre is a child asleep in her elaborately decorated crib. The crib is viewed through the arch of the doorway and into the room beyond. The inner section of the arch is worked in flatworm, Japanese gold thread, rough and bright bullion and bright check pearl.
Here you get a closer view of the inner arch. You can see the laid flatworm (irregular shapes) and the laid Jap gold (circular shapes) In between the bullions and the check pearl have been cut into small lengths and couched down like beads. Did you notice the small pink forms amongst the gold work of the inner arch? And did you notice that it is the same shape as the cradle? This is the Adinkara symbol for vigilance and wariness. I will discuss Adinkara cloth, its symbolism and
Here is the top of the arch. You can see that the gold work of the inner arch is not finished as I ran out of the bullions and check pearl. Damn! I will have to wait a couple of weeks until my new supplies come from the US to finish it. The satin stitched part of the middle arch mimics the area of the same colours in the cradle. The outer arch will also be heavily worked, although I have yet to decide what I'll do. At the moment all that is there is the skeleton of criss-crossed laid flatworm.
In this closer view you can see a shadowy figure to the right of and behind the cradle. Who is this figure and why is it there?
A closer view of the lower left hand corner.
A closer view of the lower right hand corner. You can see the feet of the dark figure and how he is just hinted at by sparsely spaced horizontal stitches.
The shadowy figure is there, but is disguised by the dark and diminished in presence care of the opulence of the cradle and the arch way.
And finally, here's how the work appeared when I packed it away into another room with different light. This photo is a bit more accurate in that it shows the rich colours of the gold and the different shades of the various types of gold threads, however, the silk colours are much more muted and are more accurately represented in the earlier photos.
So, how do you feel about this new direction in my work? It's very different from my previous work. What thoughts come to mind as you look at it? Am I wrong to be attempting something entirely new? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section, I would love to hear them.
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I am a hand embroidery artist living and working in the rugged and wild Central HIghlands of Tasmania.