The theme of repair continues to be a constant & I have been using some basic stitching on top of indigo dyeing & batik to create pieces that explore the maternal bond in utero.
Here’s the first
I cut the piece into three sections to give it a sense of dissonance, a friction & distortion after I had machine stitched into two areas. The rupture of the piece signifies breaks in a sense of being whole. The maternal bond is about two being one and the constant dialogue between the two parts to create seemless merging. Cutting and forcing material back together symbolizes the lack of fit leading to a warped bond.
Whilst laboriously hand stitching ideas for the next piece emerged, I wanted to use directional stitching throughout to give the piece more flow. I followed the patterns I had made during the batik process which related to land contours with which I engage daily when I look at maps. As I walk in landscape there is a sense of picking up energy flows through my feet and in being in nature. This sense of being both merged and separate from the land mirrors that of connecting and disconnecting from others.
Hand stitching takes a huge amount of concentration to negotiate direction & space with the other stitches, it took many hours to complete with such an urgency that I had a migraine once it was finished. This was a different experience to the usual meditative and soothing experience of repetitive stitching. Whilst I stitched I had a sense of being in utero and now want to look at images of ovaries and placentas.
In between all the frantic stitching on the indigo-dyed muslin I needed a break so I made a smaller piece based on drawings of distorted fences using very fine quilting thread on linen, denim and some died cotton. I like the effect but the tactile experience of the thread and materials didn’t feel “right”, it seemed like it was coming from a “should” place than a deeper more authentic part of me. I intend to keep with my authentic “feels right” work than make things to sell or that I think I “should”.
I don’t start off with a definite plan or purpose, instead, the work is process led & I am in constant dialogue with it, stopping, standing back, waiting until I’m sure I know which way it wants me to stitch. The sensitive dialogue is the purpose.
62 Group Exhibition
I recently attended the opening of the exhibition “CONSTRUCT” by the 62 Group of textile artists at Sunny Bank Mills in Leeds, I met Maria, a textile artist, and community educator, who also had had the same experience of being in dialogue with her work. We both booked onto the Cyanotype printing workshop. I came away from the exhibition stimulated (and slightly giddy), especially after listening to Richard McVetis describe how his mark-making is process-led, his “limited vocabulary” of marks and how the repetitive nature of his work marks time. http://www.62group.org.uk/artist/richard-mcvetis/
Here is some of his work in situ in the exhibition:
This is Hannah lamb’s work, I specifically like the images on the cyanotype prints:
I follow Debbie Lyddon’s blog and was excited to see her work and hear how she uses materials and processes from the environment in which she now lives and works, for example, leaving the fabric in salt water, in these images you can see the salt on the black fabric.
Lastly, I follow Willemien de Villiers on Instagram and found an amazing post about her and her work, she is also a survivor from childhood trauma and it was inspiring to read about her experience. It gives permission to be open too. https://www.textileartist.org/willemien-de-villiers-observer-fringe
She has been recently accepted as a member by the 62 Group.
It has been good to get out of my studio/protective bubble and talk and listen to other artists, health is returning and that feels such a relief at last.