Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Capturing the past

A goal this winter has been to photograph all completed works. I went into several boxes and the cedar chest and pulled out everything.

I thought this was it but the more I photoed, the more I realized I had stashed work elsewhere.
I have a nice little set up in the studio for taking photos of smaller items. Steve organize this for me last Christmas as my gift. I need to remove the mirror so light doesn't bounce back, but it is a great treat to have this all in one place, and not need to borrow things from Steve. Larger items need a different treatment, which I haven't figured out yet. I have about 5 things that are too big for this area. Thinking....

This is an older piece, a triptich, representing the dams at Vollendam, Holland from 1973. I visited there as a 13 year old and was fascinated that all this black and oily tarmac was protecting the village from the sea. I remember the slope of the wall that could be walked upon, the particles of tarmac, the seeping oilishness in the hot sun and the sparkle. I am not sure what is there now, but this has always been a fascinating memory. It holds back an entire sea.

At the time of stitching, I thought all this detail and coloured quilting would kill me. I laugh now looking at it. It barely scratches the surface of what can be done to create texture and suggest waves spilling up the tarmac slope.

Back when this was made, I felt pretty daring, adding in colours that were not factual, that didn't really go with dark blues. And velvet. What courage.

This piece is part of a duo. I was attending the Unitarian Church of Halifax (late 1990's) and the challenge was to create a piece of art that reflected an important value. I had bits of clothing from when the children were small and decided to not cut them up too much. Steve's shirt he had for years until it simply shred apart. He loved carrying the kids on his shoulders. Phoebe's little sun dress that was donated to us, we had so little money. Lucas's vibrant shirt we were able to buy for a birthday and my blue and black shirt that was the only button up shirt I had for eons.

I am glad I kept the clothing pieces fairly large. There wasn't a lot of time to complete two small quilts. The decision to use larger pieces meant less complex stitching. Looking at these two items together, I get a good sense of people, of family and of interdependence.

The second piece has the two same adult shirts. Lucas had a pair of blue shorts that were so long when he first wore them and they gradually shortened to little shorts. Phoebe had another donated sundress and then she graduated to Lucas's worn out shorts. They suited her personality better. When I made these, I was underwhelmed with them. Now that the kids are fully gone from home, I can appreciate them for the stories they remind me of and the tight knit group we once were. We still are in our way, but distance plays a bit of a shit show with it.

Last for today's post, is a self-portrait I did in the late 1990's. It was part of a group event for a quilt retreat I attended. It wasn't meant to be explicit, it was meant to give clues and then the game was to guess who it represented. I don't know why I didn't put hair on me, maybe because it was so long then that I thought it would be a dead give away, as if the wooden shoes weren't a bold enough clue. However, my portrait made it to the second round of not-guessed-at, and that was fun. I've been debating about making this into a thank you card. Is it too egoistic to make a portrait of yourself as a thank you card to give to people who have done something nice for yourself. It's definitely introverted. Maybe I should look at something else?

That's it for today. I will share other photos next week. The computer has been flashing warning signs to me yesterday and today, so I better upload before there is a melt down.

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