Thursday, January 24, 2008
Shirley asked about some of my process in making a lino-cut, so I thought I would share. As you all know I am having an exhibition later this year in Munich and I wanted the subject matter to include some of the things, images, feelings I encountered in Syria last year. The exhibition has the working title Carvanserai- which allows me scope, suggests the silk road, and other kinds of exotic rich experiences. I realise this is a rather romanticised image that I have built in my mind so I am researching to keep on track. One of the wonderful sights in Syria was a visit to Palmyra and the wonderful avenue built during during the time of Odainathus and Zenobia his queen widow, who was famed in the known world for her beauty, her astuteness in things military, her bravery, her knowledge ( she spoke 5 languages apparently) and her philosophical insights. I have read a number of things abot Zenobia and have been trying to find images of statues of her. The closest I can come is that the first two images on this post - they may or may not be Zenobia ( and the first statue I saw in the museum in Damascus). I also saw another two images which was part of an electronic text archive which are copyrighted. Scroll through the article and you will find two images of heads that were found on a dig in the nineteenth century.
The first image on my blog, suggests someone less roman or greek, whilst the second image suggests much more classical structure ( and fine greek craftsmen were employed in the city). The two images on the linked article also suggest a more classical allusion however the first image has a headress which I find interesting. So then I drew what I found most interesting in all of these images. I transferred the drawing to the lino by simply drawing onto the lino. If the pattern were more formal i would probably transfer by tracing , but with this image I drew because I want the image to be mine, and you seem to refine and perhaps stylise with each time you draw. I then cut the lino- creating pattern and texture on the robe. and printed fabric with the image. The cut lines on the lino are quite fine- and indeed one bit has already been damaged ( which I will have to glue back) so these will be a limited edition doll. Some of the headress detail I liked in the linked article will come from beading and applied fabric. I know I have played with this kind of doll before but they turned out very masculine. I am hoping this doll will look much more feminine. So today I will sew some up and see hwat happens.