across borders…

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

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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.

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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.

 

 

Watching and waiting…

field  Walking in the fields near home, the dusk and twilight time

I made recordings of sounds – the blackbirds calling, wing beats as they fluttered fast into the trees. An owl – its first call – I held my breath and stood silently though I could hear my heart beating – still beating.

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Not the moon but the paper lantern in my home  – a globe shining out to guide me

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I am waiting for the full moon and planning some new stitch work – some walking meditation maps in the language of stitch

 

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 expert 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

 

 

rosemary cloth

October last year – a solar dye experiment.. Rosemary gathered from a friend’s garden and then solar dyed. The sun wasn’t powerfully strong but it’s light was enough – a sun moving towards the shorter days, lower in the sky, precious in the Autumn

I have been stitching small studies on soft warm pale yellow cloth.. remembering, as is the nature of this aromatic plant and its mythology.

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Fledged..

imageThere is intense bereavement. Numbness…

This week solace began through some slow stitch. A calming ryhthm again – if heard so quietly, less than a whisper.. but a felt sensation

These little birds are nesting in the eaves under the roof again.

imageThe frame is the winding thread that wraps the tibetan incense we burn, the fracture where the thread does not quite meet barely glimpsed but highlighted here.

 

Out of hibernation…

kantha study susi bancroft2Emerging from hibernation – slowly, tentatively..

Playing with placement for a little kantha study. Watching the birds on the feeders outside, aware of an increasing chatter and song with earlier sunrise and seasonal shifts (if to and fro). This morning sharp frost, cold cleansing air, cracked ice, fragile white blossom, a wash of blue clear skies and a walk to awaken the senses

kantha study susi bancroft3Gentle colour, sensing a quiet rhythm begin to flow, breathing some life into a piece that has been patiently waiting in the wings…

 

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)

Between moons…

Susi Bancroft Kantha moon1

Susi Bancroft Kantha moon5Between moons many things happen… my best beloved burmese passed away between these last 2. I stitch.. rhythmic, repetitive, flow of concentration, absorbing my mind, allowing for some much needed inner space.

The yellow thread was stitched blindfold – of which more some other time… and a thank you to Vicky for the silk and indigo moons..

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 – https://vimeo.com/131747643

rose petal prayer flag from Susi Bancroft on Vimeo.

 

 

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