I dream of a world where love is the answer…

One of the beautiful and powerful aspects of blogging, and of following artists blogs, occur when opportunities are offered to join circles of stitchers from around the world. For me, Mo Crow is one strong articulate creative woman who I love to follow. She inspires me greatly.

So – when the opportunity came up to be involved in Mo’s work, I jumped in eagerly! This is the work and some detail about it – ‘I dream of a world where love is the answer‘ – Wander and browse if you haven’t already.. there are plenty of rich details and narratives to follow…

My piece, my pennant of the gifted wedding dress arrived in the post, and – as ever – I thought for a long time about it. Ideas in gestation – embryonic but growing, always with the same seed of beginning, lots of musing. It took me a season to think it over. Mo talks often of the moon, we link up talking about the moon – it is a strong common thread for us. I decided to steep the dress fragment in a solar bath and a moon bath from Beltane to Solstice. I wanted to send Mo something that had weathered, had absorbed our rays, was imbued with a sense of place different to where it will be, but deeply connected – from the northern hemisphere to southern..

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The dandelion – sun and moon together, from the flower to the seedhead.

The jar warmed outside in my garden in the sun, was cooled inside on my kitchen table by the moon. I carried it in and out, watching it carefully. When I finally opened it at Beltane it was warm in my hands from the sun and the lid whispered as I released it. Two bees came to look and we always have crows overhead. The cloth had taken on a subtle ‘barely there’ colour. I knew this would be the case as it is a ‘synthetic’,  for me that was part of my thinking about what Mo calls our ‘beautiful broken world’ – would it respond, could it change? It took colour, gentle but there…

And so, as Autumn colour develops outside, I laid out the piece on my table. I found the words ‘I dream of a world where love is the answer’ echoing and circling in my mind for months. On the bus, out walking, I repeated them in sequence, out of sequence, in a rhythm.. and the final piece reflects this.

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The backing cloth is silk organza dyed with woad. The magical moments of pulling the cloth from the dye never fail to excite me, the yellow is dandelion solar dye.

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The thread was a gift from my wonderful friend Kay Swancutt .

And the stitch that holds it all together? French knots are a vital and enduring part of  my stitch language. For me they are about thoughts, they are a tactile embodiment of these, they are like prayer beads..

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So, it wings its way to Mo to be part of the ‘gathering’, to join the circle. Go well little piece, play your part in mending our world. And a heartfelt thank you to Mo for your inspired work, your integrity and your creative spirit, hands and heart…

 

 

 

 

 

something new and still the same…

 

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…new work, and yet a rhythm, a continuation… The leopards bane is full of energy, a golden buttercup and kingcup yellow – a ‘Leo’ colour and life….

Last year I was observing the bees visiting and thoroughly, carefully working over the flowers.

The cloth is the solar dandelion dyed from this post here

 

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Playing with woad silk background… natural dye is so subtle, it changes in the light.. and a background that enhances it can be a challenge to find.. I will make squares, in a 9 patch and see what happens..

This year it is the butterflies I am watching – more of that later

 

Preserving the fragile petals

A few years back I experimented with this idea, was inspired, and loved it … and the thought returned this week with a call out for artists to support the local hospice that worked so beautifully, carefully – oh, how caring and considerate and expertly when my mother was dying, and we managed ‘hospice at home’… 40 years of Dorothy House  and a show at 44AD next week in aid of this special place…

Tulips, dried naturally so the petals curl, the musky scent remains and the colours mature.. The still skeleton shape is fragile and beautiful, the scent pungent from the Spring and from my Bees Knees kantha work at Walcot Chapel

susi bancroft tulip 1

 

Tissue paper, dyed and stitched and embellished onto the natural tulip – but the subtle quality for me is to add a breath, a petal or two, a thought

susi bancroft tulip 2I can place these in glass preserving jars as before, when to lift the lid releases that scent and allows a closer view. They are ephemeral and fragile – I found that in time the scent will remain though gently recede a little, but it evokes so much. The colour fades, however much we try to hold it, but my dyed petals stay clear and bright..

susi bancroft tulip stitch

 

 

Walcot Chapel – turmeric and tea

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Withies looking like stitches in the landscape!

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Cloth drying on the line – prayer flags in my thoughts – looking through the cloth and dreaming of the tea and turmeric drifting into the atmosphere..

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Table laid, piece in progress

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Catching thread thoughts and fragments

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Pinned gently to allow for movement, shadow and spaces to breathe!

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Over the course of the week I thought about what each choice of stitch reflects – what iconography.

 

 

Strand meditation 2

susi_bancroft.IMG_2958Strands of thread link the pieces

Joining, and leaving space

for movement: to attune, to ease in the water

susi_bancroft.IMG_2963There is a film of this work on show too – in my mind’s eye it was always drifting in the sea – in the liminal space – filmed at tide turns, dusk and moonrise…

susi_bancroft.IMG_2979At the end of the film, moonrise

2 women, quietly rinsing a cloth

Standing in the sea

Strand Meditation 1

susi_bancroft.through2Walking the shoreline

Tide turn – the space between

Rhythm of waves flowing….

Rhythm of breath, meditation

Dawn and dusk, stitching in early morning

The pause, stilling…..

Rhythm of stitch

The embroidered buttonhole wheels are complete thoughts

Others fragmented, partially formed

The seed beads

Those are the shells, stones, tiny claws

Found objects catching my gaze, mixed on the shoreline

susi_bancroft.IMG_3099detail of stitched piece..

See this – here Also the Brunel Broderers blog for all artists work for Strand

 

Walcot Chapel

A working studio week..

IMG_3008Cool Chapel – beautiful light with sun, shadows and dapples

The quiet of us working – and the regular lying down on yoga mats to rest and reflect

susi_bancroft.walcot1My  ‘delicate rhythm’ work – perfect setting

susi_bancroft.walcot2I have been filming the work – it is a wonderfully liberating and creative experience to respond to a space for a week, to attune to the work within it and have the freedom to develop – all our work is evolving as the days go on

susi_bancroft.walcot3I filmed the pieces outside strung from the portico entrances, moving gently in the breeze..

Will put clip of film up in the next few days…

 

deconstructing…

IMG_2491aMy research took me to the V and A  This was where Beatrix Potter went to draw the waistcoat for the Mayor…   It also took me to the Ashmolean

In both I looked at and drew waistcoats embroidered with silk floss satin stitch flowers of breathtaking beauty and skill.

The buttonhole stitch and the satin stitch stay in my mind. They combine in a fragmented and deconstructed sample…

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buttonhole stitches..

 

IMG_2633 IMG_2640 Magenta vintage buttonhole twisted silk… how it radiates colour, light, vitality

The middle piece – the energy of my frustration in unpicking a set of stitches full of mistakes and the subsequent delight in the thread – pulled, unravelled, frayed….