OF FIBRE AND LIFE...
Bits and pieces of cloth sewn or glued together curtain the world.
Bits and pieces of knowledge skillfully intertwined make up the study of history.
Every civilization has this tradition of squirreling away precious fragments untill they are needed to create a whole.
Works of art,especially in the 20th century are often nothing more than ordered fragmentations-
with each fragment carrying it's own cultural load.
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Promise Boxes: Blessed Be The Ties That Bind
Alchemy 2 Exhibition, Slackspace,Colchester 2012
Here is a body of work I recently exhibited locally; it was a deviation from my ususal textile based work into paper...all vintage paper, and a very personal project. I really enjoyed working on something that was so different, but there were similarities of theme as this was all about family and the links between an Aunt, Mother, Father, Brother, Sister and me.
I am going to try to copy and paste the written piece that went with it...to save myself going over it all again...but first some more images.
The Story of the Promise Boxes
In 1973 I was given an old “Promise Box” by my mother, which had originally belonged to her sister Lottie in the 1920s, who died at quite a young age. It travelled to South Africa and back with me, and has been a small constant in an ever changing life by giving words of hope, inspiration or encouragement …always seemingly at the right time.
“Promise Boxes” were very popular in the early part of the 20th century, when revival meetings saw many people coming to the Christian faith….Auntie Lottie and my mother were two such people, and I was to follow in their path, later on in my life.
They were “chapel” rather than “church”, so I grew up hearing the old gospel hymns and the choruses so popular in the 40s and 50s, most of which were contained in the well-known Hymn Book of the time: “Sankey’s Sacred Songs and Solos”. The copy of our book was written in Tonic sol-fa, perfect for playing on the little old organ we had at home, although unlike my sister, I never learned to play. The hymn book had become redundant....but was a link to the past which could not be easily be disposed of, with such a history.
Alchemy2 has provided me with the opportunity to recycle the Hymn Book by making it into a “Promise Box” by use of its pages which contain treasured memories of old songs, whilst it still remains the container of these…but now in a different way. Recycled boxes have been used to contain more of these pages, which all now have a hand written promise from scripture on a little scroll, whilst an old photograph album acts as a visual reminder of the original box, the history of its owners, and some of the old promises which have been shared and loved by us down through the ages.