Winter Solstice 2015

peace 1 - susi bancroftpace 2 susi bancroftpeace 4 susi bancroftWinter Solstice – precious daylight and an honoured long night… A time to think of peace and connection, the rhythm of our world, and wishes and hopes and the strength of togetherness …

Solace – a project by India Knight

Have a look at this post by India Knight

Is it fluttering there still, my pennant – together entwined with others from around the world and gently moving in the breeze? I look out across the sky tonight …

(..thin cloth from an almost exhausted indigo dye bath embroidered with a single word in french knots – a stitch which for me which is about my language to represent prayers / thoughts)

prayer flags in a bluebell wood…

The film is made and it is time to share it and talk a little about my approach to my film making..

I want to capture and share what I call ‘ephemeral fragments’ – seeing a flowering bluebell wood is, for me, a truly magical breath-taking experience which is all the more precious because it lasts for so little time. I wanted the prayer flags to become, for a few moments, an integral part of such beauty and to send out their messages of peace drifting through that atmosphere.

susi bancroft prayer flag in bluebell wood

My film-making processes are simple. I strongly remember a special family gathering in Canada with my grandparents and all the family when I was 4 (the week of my 5th birthday) and the home-made cine films we watched together – the laughter, the comments, the stories – and the projector, the screen, the spools of film (at one point spilling onto the floor) …

I like the raw presence when I work of evidence of me behind the camera – the slightly shaky quality that I as an amateur bring – it is reminiscent of those cine films.

So – here it is. It will be part of the Brunel Broderers Exhibition Inside Out at Nature in Art from 11 – 31 August (though not available to view from Thursday 20th and starting again on Tuesday 25th)

Prayer Flags in a Bluebell Wood

PS – Click on HD for best quality!

rose petal prayer flag…

imageWorking on a prayer flag at Walcot Chapel. Torn strips of turmeric and tea dyed silk organza hand stitched with french knots

In my stitch language french knots are thoughts – like a prayer bead felt between the fingers.

The flags – and there are now almost 100 including the blue woad ones – are stitched onto withies – so pliable and supple dancing in the breeze

We were brought a beautiful bunch of flowers including roses which filled the air with scent – what a gift to bring! And so – as the petals gently drifted onto the tablecloth I gathered them to stitch.

susi bancroft rose petal prayer flag aA handful of petals..

susi bancroft rose petalsDrifting in the breeze –

rose petal prayer flag from Susi Bancroft on Vimeo.



susi bancroft rosesThis week a little flag in a posy with roses and rosemary – remembrance

Bees Knees at Walcot Chapel

Susi Bancroft wax frame prayer flagThe 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

Woad cloth 3 Susi Bancroft

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

Woad cloth and French knotsSusi Bancroft WalcotMeanwhile I am nearly up to 100 flags on withies for outside…

More of those later this week!





a backing cloth as light as a cloud…

Susi Bancroft cloud and knot2

Light as a cloud – delving for scrim I found some silk/cotton for a backing cloth for the prayer flags

Washed in lavender-soaped water and wafting on the line it was delicate, translucent and with such sensitivity to the slightest movement in the breeze… moved by a breath..

Torn into 3, seamed with an open back stitch and now french knots… I shall try wax on the scrap I kept back… an open mind

Susi Bancroft cloud and knot1I thought I had lost one of the 9 today – laid out on this cloth – and, turning to look yet again, there it was, floating on another – the consternation caused me to think what is embodied in these little pieces


9 …

image  image

The 9th and last prayer flag for my inside piece for the Brunel Broderers Exhibition ‘Inside Out’ at Nature in Art

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