On Nostalgia

Although it has been a busy week I have not done any stitching and so have no new work to post. Instead of not writing a blog this week, I decided to revisit a ten-year-old piece. It is called Wedding Dress and marked my debut as a member of the South African Fibreworks group of textile artists when it was exhibited in 2010 at the Fibreworks VI exhibition at the ArtB Gallery in Cape Town.

Ten years later and the group’s eleventh exhibition, FIBREWORKS microMACRO, opens this Sunday at the Tatham Gallery in Natal at 11h00. The exhibition is both virtual and live and if you would like to visit it via the internet please visit the Tatham Gallery website on 6 December to get the link.

Wedding Dress. 207 x 117 cm

The piece has a rather personal story behind it. It was made in the year of our 25th wedding anniversary after I decided I had to either use the silk scraps from my real wedding dress, or throw them away. I began by joining the large triangular pieces left over from the cutting of the dress’s wide skirt and then moved on to joining the smaller scraps. The replication of the dress happened organically when I discovered the negative shape of the original bodice amongst the scraps.

Here is the artist’s statement for the piece, which is still valid after a decade:

A statement about recycling and renewal, meditation and memory, nostalgia and nurture. Scraps of raw silk are hand pieced and layered on a backing of melkdoek [muslin]. This is in turn laid and stitched onto a quilted cotton counterpane. Silk and silver thread and old, fine crochet cotton hold the layers together. The creams and whites provide a canvas for a pair of hand beaded red shoes.

Having taken it out of storage and looked at it with fresh eyes, I am tempted to add a few more stitches and refashion it a bit.

This may end up being my last post for the year. If so, best wishes for the season.

18 thoughts on “On Nostalgia

  1. I’m so glad you didn’t through those pieces away, but used them to make another beautiful piece. I’m sure there are memories of the making for you, entangled with other memories too. I will look forward to seeing your new additions to the piece. Happy holidays to you and your family!


  2. It is really a brave and wonderful piece of work. I remember being astounded when I first saw it and super to witness how you have masterfully grown in the interceding 10 years.


  3. Lovely Mariss!

    Those red shoes trigger such vivid associations.

    Thank you for all your sharing and inspiration over the years.

    Happy holidays …


  4. Wow – there is something quite profound about the piece that you used pieces of your own wedding dress. I love your artist statement on the piece. The red shoes are a wonderful pop of color to the piece. I hope you have a peaceful holiday season with lots of artistic inspiration for 2021.


  5. What an interesting concept and beautiful too. Thanks for the link to the Tatham exhibition. Wishing you a happy and peaceful time over this holiday season. Let us hope the New Year brings better times …


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