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.
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.