Friday, June 12, 2009
The Illusion of Stability (In Progress)
I did say that I was trying to work in a more spontaneous way with this piece. Easier said than done, give my pathological desire for control. My big scary leap here is not turning the edges under. In Japanese boro cloth they don't turn edges under on the patches, neither does the brilliant Jude Hill. Those cloths don't seem to be in any danger of disintegrating into a pile of thread overnight, so, since my cloth isn't functional and is unlikely to be washed on a regular basis, I tore my already tattered scraps of natural dyed, handwoven fabric into pieces for a nine patch.
I really like the soft edge created by the fraying. And I think it works conceptually, as the text references a loom and the composition of the piece is strongly vertical, as a threaded loom appears when the weaver is seated in front of it.
The text is deliberately ambiguous - the writer, Dag Hammarskold was referring to God's presence in his life, but I think it can hold a number of interpretions.
I debated about putting in lots of handquilting - there is definitely still more stitching to come but I want the focus to be on the textures and threads of the cloth, not the stitching. Even though my intention is for the piece to be soft and open, my inner dominatrix wants the cloth to have stability, so I found myself adding almost invisible stitches to hold the layers together.
Which I think actually reinforces the theme of the work: that no matter how one chooses to weave the cloth of one's life, there will be an invisible structure that gives it form and meaning.