I have been using stitch for lines and for texture and have been thinking about how the stabbing of the needle into the cloth brings something extra – it expresses a kind of violence, perhaps a kind of necessary pain which simultaneously pierces and repairs. Stitching, as in mending, strengthens. But it also perforates and weakens. A piece which has no functional purpose except to be displayed on a wall can be very fragile, unlike a garment or serviceable cloth which must withstand handling and use. As I stitch, I damage, I restore.
Looking for a distraction, and needing to stitch, I delved into the bag of materials and samples from John Parkes’ July workshop (see this link and scroll to the bottom). I had left the top R pinned, without stitching, as the fine brass pins looked beautiful with the transparent fabrics. But now I’m going to stitch, both around the reverse appliqué and into the whole cloth.
The hanky was a gift, the red fabric is thick wool cloth salvaged from my old dressing gown and there is also part of a favourite linen shirt and a fraying silk scarf. The colour and thickness of the red wool argues with the other materials, which feels appropriate right now.
Finally, I’ve arrived at an overall idea for the final project.
Layers of fabric, layers of memory; some detailed, some transparent, some barely there.
How to present the project will, hopefully, occur to me as I work on the pieces of cloth.