Monday, November 04, 2013


Another week to forget. First someone backed into my car and caused enough damage for it to be awkward and in need of repair- fortunately the other driver was insured, but it will take time. Then my laptop died, I am hoping it is only the screen because I can't afford to get another laptop. Fortunately my daughters partner knows how to retrieve what's on there if necessary if it can't be fixed, but it meant I didn't get around to blogging at all. Add to that I had to do the  layout for the Geelong Patchworkers & Quilters Guild Inc for our Biennial exhibition that starts on 21 November and my whole week was gone! Fortunately the parents are on the improve, but I still feel a bit wonky- they do forget at times that there is only me , there is no partner I can turn  to for  help, or  to talk things through with or even to lose some of the angst. And my daughter started her exams- so school is officially finished until the next stage in her life and that will depend on exam results.

I will put all the names form my previous blog post in a hat before the weekend and let the winner know.

So all of these events do play havoc with equilibrium, and I find it difficult to get  back into a working rhythm, your thought processes get interrupted. Thank goodness I am doing a lot of the prep work for my book  by hand, but still I look at the photos from time to time, and then delve a little more.

Awhile back I ordered a little book from  Junko Oki entitled Culte a la Carte- she does boro inspired kind of badge embroideries with rough stitches. I guess I was drawn to the book for the  preciousness of the fragments that  had been added to and also the sense of repetition in creating the small pieces because I have been thinking about the medieval badges worn by pilgrims,  and looking at how to translate them into something to do for my book- often the badges contained a print of a saint but as I am making work to do with Chartres, I am thinking the badges need to reference Mary in some way .Each of Junko's pieces is small remnant or fragment with tiny tiny  stitches. It made me realise it's alright to have fragments and stitch those and indeed so much  of  what comes to us from the past is fragments, snippets- so here are a few things I have come up with:

Stitching is a kind of drawing for me- but I don't exactly want my stitching to be  like a perfect thread painted drawing- I want the quality of the stitch to be an integral part of how these images appear. I am thinking of these in the same way as the precious little fragments of coptic embroidery I encountered in the Cluny Museum in Paris or the embroidered copes or  procession dresses worn by the Virgin. I am also working with the idea that one of the  most precious relics at Chartres was a piece of fabric said to be from the veil/shawl of Mary. Each of the embroideries is inspired by an image  from Chartres which has changed with the actual drawing and then again with the stitching.

The image below is inspired by one of the stone sculptures of the  Royal Portal. I was intrigued that a number of the statues had female figures with very long braids. Braids were appreciated in medieval times and in fact Baldwin of Canterbury bestowed praise on braids:
"He was allegorising, but this fails to conceal his sensitive taste  in matters  of fashion, for he described the beauty of plaits persuasively and with exactitude, and referred explicitly to their wholly aesthetic appeal." from  Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages, Umberto Eco

So they were fashionable and the sculptor has taken a great deal of effort to portray them so , just as much as with the vestments, so I should  honour them too.


The Idaho Beauty said...

Liking these fragments a lot and the historical context that is inspiring you.

Sandra said...

Hello Dijanne, I havent looked at your blog for quite some time, I am Peter & Jan's neighbor from when they lived at Landsborough. I was shocked to read about their health of late, please send them my love and I do think of them often. I meant to ring them for their Birthdays last month, but time slipped past and it was too late.I do enjoy your blog! Takecare and keep creating your beautiful pieces.Regards from Sandy of Whites Rd , Landsborough