I've been working really hard on my next project and feel like I'm really getting somewhere!!! I've died and bleached fabrics, I cut them up and stitched them back together, I planned and sampled and even begun embroidering and still I feel that it's going really well.
The inspiration links directly back to the theme of the exhibtion - Phoenix: to rise in brilliance... The rise in brilliance is what I'm working on, or more accurately my journey towards brilliance from structure times of schooling and university, through some uncertain, insecure and sometime distressing and stressfull times, towards present times of a more secure grounding and positive outlook. It gets pretty deep but I'm hoping that the overall result is one that makes people think, that they can appreciate the work and diversity of it and most importantly... Like it!!
I've use the concept of footprints to portray my journey, in a strip-like wall-hanging that is about 30cm wide and nearly 7feet tall. The footprints go upwards, signifying the rise. The background is constructed of strips of varying widths and shapes which progress from a fairly light bluish colour in regular structured strips, to smaller and narrower and more angled strips of darker blues and nearly black fabrics, and then back to the light colours, with wider strips but still big angles.
The whole point is that the bottom is fairly structured and regular as I follow a path that doesn't involve too many decisions, and that is itself quite structured - school, and university. At this point there aren't too many worries and therefore the colours are quite light. Then as I move into my working life there are more decisions to make, more changes in direction, more uncertainty and a lot more stresses to deal with. This section is where the colours get darker and the strips become narrower and more angled and the background fabric starts to meander to the left and the right. The edges also get a bit more jagged here. Then as I start to work out what I want to do with myself and my life the fabrics get lighter and the strips get wider. They still stay quite angled as I have moved into the creative part of my life, but they also signify that there are still twists and turns in my life but I am better equipped to cope with them.
The footprints also tell a similar story. In the beginning they are structured and neat and even and quite simple (cross stitch, blackwork),and quite pale and tend to blend into the background. Then they start to get free-er and darker and broken as I start to discover life and suffer from the stress, they also start to move around in circles as I lack direction. Then at the turning point they become layered (cut back applique) as I look within myself for answers, and then become more solid and grounded and free and creative as I really discover myself and my creative side. Th final step shows that this is not the end and steps off the work into the unknown and is bold and solid (3D).
I know, very deep, but it has been quite exciting working like this as the work has a purpose, and there is meaning to everything that I have put into it. The choice of colours, the choice of stitches, the placement of features (feet-ures), all have a reason, which in the end will probably only be known to myself and the few people that I choose to tell, but which have been significant in the development of the work.
Now I just have to keep the motivation going to get it done!! Oh, and come up with something equally as exciting and brilliant for my next and subsequent pieces.