Thursday, May 24, 2007
The photo of the quilt is a piece I finished just before I left Australia- there is also an earlier photo on the blog. When I arrived in Damascus I found that the gallery space had doubled since I saw it last year and Sense of Place had been put together with the previous space in mind- so I was lucky I had with me a suitcase full of work destined for Sophie Gelfi's Gallerie du Splendid in La Bourboule in the Auvergne in france, which fit the extra space nicely. It helped that some of the work was about Syria as this piece was. It looked so much better with proper lighting- it made it much more multilayered somehow as the lights caught the glints of foiling in the background and created much deeper shadows in the areas of stitching.
I love doors, and thankfully there is a world heritage order on the old city of Damascus so that you can still find wonderful enormous old doors. The patterning on the doors is often intricate, sometimes ornate, and the doorways says something about the place you are entering! The Rajabs of the Tareq Rajab Museum in Kuwait have written a wonderful book about "The Carved Wooden Doors of Kuwait.the Gulf & Yemen" ( ISBN994885149-8, it is available form the museum website) and unfortunately most old things inKuwait have been bulldozed in a bid for modernisation in the 1960's. Whilst there are similarities with the doors of Damascus there are differences too- for example decoration reached an amazing level of intricacy and skill in Damascus and this can bee seen in many place including some of the interiors. Many of the old beits ( courtyarded houses ) are being restored as restaurants ( where at least the ordinary bod like me can still see some of the wonderful decorated ceilings and arches) or luxury hotels which I am never likley to see the interior of, as I travel on budget.
The weekend of 31 May to 2 June i shall be teaching in Braidwood at Braidwood Townstay. Tifaifai ( a two day workshop) and transfer printing and stitching a one day workshop. I will be teaching at the residential workshop the brainchild of Kate Marshall and her sister and you can see details in the link I have given. There are still a few places if you are interested.