Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Perfect Simplicity: The unlike are joined, resulting in the most perfect harmony.

The lovely 18th century sleeve fragment and the Dove deserve a picture all to themselves.
Today has a been a good studio day, with the five 2D works all finished and mounted....I had forgotten to take my camera, so that will have to wait untill next I can concentrate on the dresses.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Waiting.....beautiful things waiting

Just a few pieces of beautiful antique lace, an old brass and paste 1920s bag embelishment, and a vintage mother of pearl Dove on the Wing....which would have been hand carved in Bethlehem...all waiting their turn to be used....I could play at arranging all day...but only had a minute today after a busy but good day in the studio.
However, as soon as the light gets better I shall be doing a lot more arranging and photographing for my proposed book....a book of the "Exquisite Poverty:Fragments" is something I have wanted to do for a long time.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Song of the Shirt: Chemise Vests

Here is a beautiful fragment of a late 19th century camisole or corset cover...the broderie anglaise around the neckline has all be worked by hand, as has the tiny insert at the was just a fragment, with mends and tatters I wanted to show the beauty of it...display it as a precious fragment of someone else's life, long before mine began;it would probably have been worn by a lady of means.
My intention.....on adding my own embroidery, lace and mother of pearl ornamentation,is to draw attention to the piece, hoping that all the work will blend together as one. Also, the amount of time that I have spent on the stitching I feel honours the amount of time already spent on it so long ago.
It seemed right to mount it on a wonderfully soft piece of the vintage shirting from the quilt, a shirt and then quilt which undoubtedly came from a poorer home...the contrasting lives of several people joined together and celebrated in a new object of beauty, but also one that I hope will "speak" and provoke thought.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Song of the Shirt: Woman's Song

Here is another work,the same size as the birds....vintage blanket and unworked printed embroidery linen from 1925 join with Victorian silk, my own embroidery and mother of pearl artifacts to make my own "Woman's Song":
O man with sisters dear,
O men with mothers and wives,
It is not linens you're wearing out
But human creatures lives.
Stitch, stitch, stitch...
in poverty hunger and dirt,
Sewing at once with a double thread
A shroud as well as a shirt. ( from "Song of the Shirt",Thomas Hood)

Song of the Shirt: Bird Song

Using fragments of 19th century fine cotton lawn and pieces from the shirt quilt, this 41x41cm hand stitched work shows mother and her two baby birds lifting their voices in song....The Song of the Shirt (by Thomas Hood):
With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags
Plying her needle and thread

Exciting News! I'm now a member of E.A.S.T

I'm really pleased to say that I have been offered membership of this brilliant group of artists who work mainly within the medium of visit the group
It will be great to be part of a group of like-minded artists who work towards joint exhibitions.
Prior ro my interview I was working on some new 2D work which is now finished...and I can at last add some images to the blog.

Good News!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Song of the Sea

This was my first 2d experiment using a little of the vintage shirting from the tattered quilt...I just wanted to have fun with it, and also use up some of the crochet domes I had a passion for making several years ago....they always reminded me of Sea Urchins; so I let the imagination run free, adding hand felted balls, faux pearls, embroidery and the remains of an antique shell and bead belt to birth an underwater sanctuary.
The oak box frame was beautifully made for me, but was damaged in the post so the work will have to be reframed...I just wanted to see how it would look once mounted.
I've called it "Song of the Sea", because the new progect is comming from my research of the 19th century seamstresses, working on shirts in appaling conditions; at the time it sparked huge media interest: the poem by Thomas Hood: "Song of the Shirt" was written, and many artists produced images of the subject.....I will write a lot more about it as the work progresses....this though is a lighter hearted piece of work, but the four I have made since, have a real, more serious narrative.