Thursday, 19 February 2015

February catch up

After two glorious days we are back to rain again today but then I'm not feeling guilty about being in the garden to continue with the tidying up that should have happened back in the Autumn. I'm very much a fine weather gardener so its no problem being outside when the sun shines but then there's the attraction of an indigo vat or maybe a little bucket dyeing!I'm so easily side tracked!
At present there are buckets of dye sitting in my utility room
with fabrics to over dye that have been discharged with formusol. I am building a collection of fabrics for a new piece of work based on the vaulted ceiling of the Hall at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. 
The colours are based on the stained glass windows I posted about here.
I have also spent time working on a textile book inspired by my recent trip to Vancouver. 
Having visited the Emily Carr exhibition at Vancouver Art Gallery and being especially inspired by how she drew and painted trees I wanted to experiment with my own designs. I was pleased with how these sketches worked and had them made into Thermofax screens. Here you see a double page spread of one of my fabric signatures for my book.
On this page I have started stitching. This is going to be an ongoing project but as it is small and portable it will be travelling with me over the next few weeks. I will keep you updated of its progress.
If you are unfamiliar with Emily Carr's work, this is Big Raven, painted in 1931 and
Forest:British Columbia painted at about the same time. She was very much inspired by the mountains and forests of her surrounding area and having walked through forest areas I can begin to understand the depth and intensity of some of her paintings. For me each section resembles draped fabrics, not dissimilar to the trees swathed in lichen I posted here.
I also wanted to share with you a few images of Bang, the installation by Ai WeiWei which was also at Vancouver Art Gallery as part of the exhibition Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art which is on until 6 April 2015.
This installation comprised of 886 three legged antique stools and replicas from the Qing dynasty (1644 - 1912). These stools were often handed down through generations and could be found in nearly every Chinese home until the 1960's when plastic took over! They are arranged as an  expansive rhizomatic structure that suggests directions in motion with no beginning or end. Ai WeiWei suggests that any one stool can be interpreted as symbolic of an individual in relationship to the rapidly developing and complex structures of contemporary society.
The reflections of the stools on the walls of the gallery was almost as exciting as walking through the arches and tunnels constructed by them.
Back down to earth again now and off to rinse those fabrics. I will show you how they turned out next time.
Thanks for visiting