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.
After finding bones and bark in the Wandoo Conservation Park west of Beverley
Murray Bail said that the indent of a paragraph is like the gate to a paddock. It is the way in. For a long time I have been looking for a way in to a piece of cloth. What is the gate or indent that allows entry? Otherwise it is too much like a painting or photograph, it is just there, take it or leave it, dictating instead of revealing and relating.
The reader can’t take in the paragraph instantaneously, the eye must move along the text, even retrace and repeat if necessary. A visitor to a paddock also has to enter and traverse the paddock. Think of seeding or harvest, going methodically over the paddock ground. As grazing sheep do in their own practised way.
A painter would argue that to properly see a painting the eye must move across the surface. True, but it is possible to have an instantaneous, complete impression in a way that is never possible with text, or land, or the complete qualities of a textile.
Is touch the way in?
A mini day trip to Toodyay and Greenhills (and only a little bit lost in between) turned up a couple of old churches.
On the highway out of the city, the bush goes on for miles and miles.
The old buildings are surprisingly substantial for such a small town. It didn’t meet its founders’ aspirations.
After visiting dad, and collecting lots of fallen gum leaves
I drove out of town, through summer-dry paddocks. Two wedge-tail eagles soared out of sight on thermals.