the stitches my thoughts and words
The 9 prayer flag pieces at Walcot Chapel last week will be on show indoors at Nature in Art in August (11th – 31st)… I experimented with framing them floating from wax backing pieces. I poured the hot beeswax onto scrim for some extra strength. The beeswax is chosen for the relationship in the work to protecting bees
The backing cloth from here I dyed with woad – gently squeezing the cloth so that there is a little faint white in places – like clouds in the sky.
Here is a little clip of film of it drying – woad drying in the breeze
And then – the golden yellow thread turned green from the dye bath, so I am adding more french knots. Last week it floated against the window of the chapel and I stood to stitch it, glancing through the cloth to the birds in the chapel garden
More of those later this week!
So now an experiment – I am going to try to caste a beeswax backing piece on which to pin the 9 flags in a 9 patch. Have decided to use scrim as a base to strengthen it and see how it goes. The work uses embroidery stitches as a language for peace (all the prayer flag posts on here talk more about this – will go through the posts and add a tag!)
Why wax? Bees have been a constant source of natural world inspiration threading through the timeline of the work, and my attention has been drawn back time and again to thinking of how to protect them. I am currently enjoying having a go at the Friends of the Earth Bee Count
Meanwhile, for outside, I am working at 200 flags for the grounds…. more of this to come in various posts – about what stitch I settled on and why, what natural dyes I have tried, meditative stitch, and another ‘inside’ piece – the filming of them in a bluebell wood – all will come together for the show and appear as glimpses on here over the coming weeks
I took a deep breath – sometimes you just have to give something a try… and I am stunned and so unbelievably excited to say that I have work in the current juried Exhibition Drawn at the Royal West of England Academy
The RWA text states: Drawn, continuing to raise the profile of drawing as both an autonomous discipline and an interdisciplinary tool. As a means of communication and navigation, drawing has taken on a universality and accessibility unlike any other medium. It is a building block of creativity, key to the visualisation and translation of ideas and practices, fundamental in making, doing, testing, designing, thinking, playing and living.
The pieces are a triptych of work – combining free machine drawing, pen and hand stitch and are about hand washing in hospital – Mending My Ways
The Exhibition is on till June 7th and accompanies a truly inspiring collection to view – Drawing On
I blogged about it here too on the Brunel Broderers site!
..watching the ripples forming as the patterns of stitch grow…
‘love is in the air’ – french knots lightly giving enough to read the text at a second look
So busy absorbed in making these that I forgot to take pictures! The sun shone so warm and brightly on the rich pinks and reds that interestingly the rippling patterns are clearer than the stitches and threads!
Shadow lines, layers and loose threads are characteristic of my work and I talk about them often – click on the tags to have a look at past images and words, or pop the words into the search box…
Stitch vocabulary or iconography such as buttonhole wheels and French knots
They are all personal reflections and my own mark making on cloth – so:
Knots feel like and represent thoughts like prayer beads
Herringbone is a journey with steps along the way
Feather represents my connection to the natural world
Buttonhole – whole thoughts or partial ones
Loose threads reach out and float, even melt into the atmosphere and connect with the viewer
Withies looking like stitches in the landscape!
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..
Table laid, piece in progress
Catching thread thoughts and fragments
Pinned gently to allow for movement, shadow and spaces to breathe!
Over the course of the week I thought about what each choice of stitch reflects – what iconography.