Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Weaving buildings, stitching circles

I've posted before (here and here) about the series of stitched weavings I been doing recently based on a starkly graphic modern office block I saw last year in Darling Harbour in Sydney. This building along with many others has triggered thoughts and inspired me for more than a year now.

Since our visit to Australia, I've become fascinated by the contrasting impact on the environment of modern life with its buildings, roads, factories and cities and the minimal trace of others such as the aboriginal peoples who have lived in Australia for over 50,000 years. This piece is part of my exploration of ways to represent this in my work. The strips echo the structure of the modern building and the circle, a significant symbol in aboriginal work, represents a water hole or meeting place. The hand stitched lines are intended to suggest their wandering 'songlines'.


The above is the latest piece in this series. I have been working to improve the simplicity and impact of the work, so that the the imagery and contrasting yarns I use are the focus. It's awaiting mounting and framing and a final decision on what to do (if anything) with the warp threads. While I think, it's sitting where I can see it in my work room so it nags at my consciousness.

Two earlier pieces in the series were exhibited in the John Bowen Gallery, Malmesbury until the end of last week.



I wove all these pieces on a simple table loom in strips which I can hold on my knee as I work. I then stitched them together as I wanted to replicate the sharp edges I'd noticed in the building. It was a fairly intuitive almost painterly process in which I reacted to the textiles as they evolved and sometimes unpicked strips that seemed 'wrong'. I then stitched the fine lines and especially the circle onto the woven surface since I wanted them to be finer and more delicate than was possible by weaving in order to suggest the aboriginal 'light touch'.



4 comments:

  1. Stunning...so much to take in and appreciate. Honored with lovely framing as well!

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    1. Very many thanks for both thoughts, Mary Anne.

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  2. Oh - I just love these, Margaret...the imagery & thoughts that inspired them, the process, the results! And I agree that constant "oblique" observation is a good/organic way to arrive at decisions that are best not rushed...

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    1. Very many thanks, Lisa. I did plan each of these weavings out to some degree, especially the last to be completed so I could get the focal red stripe where I wanted it. Apart from that, my approach was certainly organic.

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