Scale – after finishing the first small concentrated cornerstone piece I feel a need to explore expansive stitching again, using the same stitch – chain stitch, which for me, in my language of stitches, holds references to connections between us – the interconnectedness.
The size is slightly more within my reach this time for ease of working. Time for a deeper wider breath – looking out, up, around and through.
Some woad dyed silk organza from an exhausted dye pot – mottled and randomly marked – fine and delicate and with the quality of transparency allowing for shadow-work stitching.
Cornerstone 1 of the 4 finished and resting .. curls, lifting diamond shapes and textures an intrigiung aspect of the way the stitch choice, pattern and process has structured itself!
Stitching.. one chain at a time. I feel excited to see how this will work as a cornerstone – but there can be no rush, no rapid completion. It is, by its nature, a slow stitch and a slowly developing process emerging gradually, gently.
This work requires strong clear light and the days are short so I like needing to make time to stitch.
Sunset – breathtaking … taking time within a smaller circle of natural rhythm
sampling ideas for the corners – ideas in progress!
Whilst working on the borders of the meditation piece today I have found myself thinking about some familiar ideas – rhythm, repetition and the flow of deciding where to stitch – balance
I usually stitch in the quiet, but today I was entranced as I listened to a Radio 3 concert – a Hungarian musician – cello – Miklos Perenyi playing Kodaly’s Sonata for Solo Cello Op 8.
The scissors belonged to my maternal grandmother and were in the box of embroidery thread tucked into the last embroidered cloth she was working on when she died in 1965. I have posted about the cloth before – here
My mind has wandered around, making connections and exploring tangents and wondered about borders, outer edges, margins/marginal – in cloth with this work..but in our world, our societies, our cultures, peoples. It is giving me a frame (as borders do!) and a context which seems to relate to everything in my mind and heart as winter solstice approaches.
…working on a large scale cloth, just within my reach in width, enveloping..gauze like quality of gaze through, filtering the view
The kantha rippling and texturing the top edge. Edge, only just within reach and challenging physically (as was balancing on the scaffold for me some days)
Scale, volume, reaching to the edge – a working studio such as Walcot Chapel can give this opportunity
In the second week I began to attach the small meditation studies to the panels. The petals are barely caught down – much looking, thinking, sharing thoughts during both weeks about work, processes and embracing the ‘here and now’ trying out of ideas
And finally on our last day we shared our work and opened the doors wide
Angie was inspired to write poems on the floor – the to and fro of dialogue and ideas is a very special quality of these weeks
There are so many ways, many paths, many strands, many ceremonies across the world, weaving connections …
My thanks to Kay Swancutt for being part of the process, for the photography as well as inspiring discussion, understanding and friendship ..
mandalas, alpona, alpana, sand painting, chalk, rice powder, crushed flowers .. art, ceremony, healing, harmony, visual meditation, balance, celebration, rosette, SO much to fascinate, absorb and contemplate
The careful measured precision of the small drawings was not as easy outside but actually the shapes just flow differently drawn on the ground
And the rain poured down.. I recorded its sound and the thunder claps and watched the mandala fade, but it remained faintly on the stone until I washed it gently away at the end of our fortnight making work at Walcot Chapel
My research took me across so many cultures, systems, beliefs, traditions – past and present… rich and fascinating
Tomorrow I will post about one made on the chapel floor inside and how we filmed brushing it away…
Early sketchbook drawings from the summer trying out ideas…