Textile Landscapes

I’m currently reading my newly-arrived copy of Tim Ingold’s book ‘Lines’; it’s having quite an influence on my thought processes – in fact I feel like someone needs to open my head up with a tin opener before my brain explodes.

All the things that have been rattling round in the corners of my mind are suddenly all connected – walking the dog, being outdoors, walking and thinking, drawing, sewing, writing, making new things out of old pieces of work, things I’ve read quoted in something new, circles and stories, marks and traces, squares, a sense of presence and place, journeys, landscape, process…

This is my story, the story that has been handed down to me through generations of women, the story that I will hand on to my daughter. I’m not sure I’ve grasped the plot yet, but I’m getting there, and I’m definitely not sure where it’s all going and how it’s going to end.

In and out, like the stitches sewn by my mother and my grandmother… even the back of the stitch, the part you can’t see, is inextricably woven into the whole.

This Week’s Project

So here’s what I’m currently working on… I have been sent an emergency blanket from Sketchbook Circle and asked to make a piece of art with it. 

The smooth, shiny, reflective surface initially reminded me of the Dragon Warrior’s scroll in Kung Fu Panda (stay with me here); when Po unrolled it he saw his own face reflected back at him. Eventually he realises that there is no secret ingredient – only yourself and what lies within. 

I have been considering this idea of self-reflection, and the self-reliance suggested by the emergency blanket as an object. I am thinking about distorted and fragmented memories as I alter, cut and crumple it. These are themes, I am realising, that I am exploring on through the Artist Teacher Scheme; themes which I return to again and again.

I am working with textile elements on a long, thin piece of neutral coloured fabric, doing my usual trick of placing things, taking them out, moving things, stitching and then unpicking… ebb and flow, addition and subtraction, assertion and obliteration.

I have no idea where I’m going with this one; it’s very much a work in progress.