There is no preparatory drawing or research for my first sample. The sample is itself a drawing as well as a finished piece. I had finished experimenting with drill-bits and glue, wondering whether my final piece should be based on painted calico or on a more daring piece of sewn plaster. Then the news about events in Manchester (1) came through and I wanted to make some kind of response.. my thoughts about breaking and healing which had been around throughout the Course got more passionate. I have written previously about wanting to make art with reference to current events and this piece is the first textile piece I have made which does this.
The twenty-two pieces of coiled thread clearly sit upon the cracks and stitch, and both elements are visible but necessary – one element without the other wouldn’t work. In my Tutor Report for Part 3 of the Course my tutor wrote about the effectiveness of simplicity, of suggestion to convey emotional events, rather than full-on, well-drawn graphics. I hope I have achieved this here, it’s a start anyway.
Two plaster tiles moulded in ice cream lids. Dried out over four days, then broken . Some concerns because I felt the strong line down the middle, where two tiles joined, was obvious, but I decided the coils would detract from an intrusive mid-line.
This is one tile, broken and prepared for attaching back together. I wanted to use stitch only, but the small piece was too unstable (although strong enough to withstand drilling). So superglue was added. Strong linen knitting yarn was used to oversew the pieces. Twenty-two pieces of cotton twine (to represent the twenty-two lives lost) were glued to the surface. This was tricky. The glue soaked itself around the coils and made small marks. Several coils had to be removed and replaced. There are still spots of glue visible.
Tails of thread are left hanging downwards, because I didn’t want the coils to just stop. They float and intertwine with one another. I’ve noticed many textile artists allow for hanging threads, for undefined boundaries. In particular, the work of Karola Pezarro from the Netherlands whose Figures (Independent Work/Autonoom Werk section) are covered in both worked and unworked threads. Also Lauren di Cioccio, Sewn News. The tangled threads hanging down from her embroideries of photos in the New York Times give an ephermeral feel, a notion (for me) that you could pull the threads and the whole situation might just float away into another picture.