On the Weather

It’s a blustery, sunny, wintry day. The kind of weather I associate with the National Arts Festival which, for 45 years, started on the last Thursday of June in Grahamstown (now Makhanda), South Africa. It is ironic that the weather (often described as unpredictable, changeable) is the one thing that feels the same on this day (today) when the Festival was to have begun, bringing the streets and town to life.

This year, the year of the Corona Virus, is also the year of the Virtual National Arts Festival. While this is exciting and innovative, it does not assuage my forlorn feelings. There will be no fun of the fair on the village green, no tents with stallholders selling their craft, no crowds. Some things have “changed utterly” (W.B. Yeats) as a result of the pandemic. But there is a virtual village green, so all is not lost. I was not brave enough to sign up for it — it seemed too big a step from our “stoep stall” on our front verandah to a virtual platform.

Taking a smaller step, I have been loading images and descriptions of my market wares for a local virtual market called TRADE at Home, which will be happening on Facebook this Saturday (27 June). Thanks to the clear instructions and industry of the organiser, Tracy Jeffery, it has been fraughtless process. This is the second virtual market she has kindly organised to help the local traders to tout their wares.

The Trade at Home virtual market inspired me to create a logo and an advertisement. It was fun — especially when I found I could place the logo inside the advert

FInishing line

Amidst the change wrought by the pandemic, the world continues to turn. The winter solstice happened in the southern hemisphere last weekend, and my June kantha sampler is a representation of this annual phenomenon.

Solstice. Kantha sampler for June 2020 (19 x 19 cm)

To accentuate the shadow I placed a semi circle of patterned fabric from an old cotton sari on the left hand side of the circle that represents the earth. The stitching inside the circle is the “stepping” kantha stitch. The outside of the circle is shadow quilted.

22 thoughts on “On the Weather

  1. It seems that all of our fun things have been taken away from us. Thank goodness I can still hide in my sewing room. Your kantha piece is amazing. I love the stitching!


  2. I’m visualizing us sitting on our respective stoops (usa spelling, remember?) and sipping a cool (for me) and warm (for you) beverage of choice…chatting and passing the time of day – looking on our computer screens at various ‘arts shows’ on-line in this time of the Coronavirus.
    cheers – and I mean that literally – to you dear Mariss.


  3. Hard to imagine G’Town without the festival crowds.
    All best for your alternative online marketing — I’m not on facebook, so won’t be able to see your goodies. Can I make a donation instead? To say thank you. Love your communications and the spirit of your work.


    1. You have left me speechless, dearest Asta. Your metaphorical support is all I need. Thank you for being there from the very start of my stitching adventure.
      Yes, Grahamstown looks and feels very different from the days when we visited the festival art exhibitions together and then drank coffee and talked for an hour


  4. Your stoep looks great, what a pity to miss it this year. I think you could have entered the virtual fair, your art is certainly good enough!


  5. Well I am glad they at least have a virtual festival but of course it is nothing like actually attending a festival. We are headed into festival season and there are no festivals attend which make me sad. I love browsing vendor stalls and stimulating conversations with makers and artists. And the festival food. Your Kantha sampler is amazing. Chela and I were chatting via e-mail that we wished we could stitch like you!


  6. Wow, is it really a whole year sincere your “stoep stall” at last year’s festival? Weirdly, it seems like no time at all… And also, somehow, like a different era entirely. I hope your virtual Fair went well over the weekend, and your Kantha piece for the Solstice is beautiful!


    1. Thanks for checking in Helen and for your good wishes for the virtual market — it was worth the effort and quite fun, so I am glad I took part in this new way of shopping and browsing. Yes, time has gone into a weird warp.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Mariss – your solstice piece is very special.
    Since reading your post I browsed through parts of the Arts Fest online programme – very interesting but I never actually committed to buying a ticket for anything. I enjoyed the village green and there were some interesting artists/crafters. Sounds a bit crazy but I have never been to the Arts Festival – after all these years!
    When studying in Grahamstown, I always went home for the mid-year holiday and missed the Festival even then …
    Sorry you decided not to participate in virtual village green but glad that the Trade at Home virtual market went well.
    The word you chose ‘forlorn’ to describe your forlorn feeling at the absence of an actual Arts Fest this year is an apt one. There is a lot to feel forlorn about right now, but great that the festival organisers found innovating ways to keep the festival going in digital space this year.


    1. Thanks Carol for liking my solstice piece and for commiserating on my forlorn feelings. Glad you had a browse through the virtual green which I also found exciting, in a different way. It’s a pity you never did experience the Grahamstown Festival because I doubt that it will return in its original form. Thank heavens for the online world.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “Interesting”, as my husband says, that, without warning, life as we knew it is over. I’m glad you have the Facebook fair, at least. And I love hearing about the weather since it is “upside down” from ours.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s