Posts tagged art
Posts tagged art
I took a day off from work today. Over the last week and a half I’d written 5000 words (this is a lot for me, I’m a slow writer) and sent it off to my supervisor last night.
I figured I’d earned a break, so I spent the morning working on the Iliad, and then started this project this afternoon.
This is my modern embroidery sampler. The technique hasn’t changed; the alphabet has.
Lately on tumblr I’ve been seeing a lot of embroidery that seems to be done ironically. Now, maybe this isn’t the case for everyone, but whenever I see a very simply-done embroidery piece of an “edgy” slogan or a bit of generic swearing, I feel like the intention of the piece is a juxtaposition…
And this one, too.
It’s like there’s this belief that embroidery is intrinsically an out-of-date medium, so if you try and do anything “modern” with it it’s automatically ironic because of this perceived juxtaposition. But there is no juxtaposition, and if your sewing is intentionally crap it’s still just crap sewing. There’s nothing ironic about an embroidered “fuck you”, no matter how well or poorly it’s stitched. That’s not to say there’s nothing *good* about such a piece (though honestly, by now I think it’s a little over done. Those types of pieces that think they’re “subversive” to me just seem a little childish - like a kid who’s just learned a new naughty word and wants to use it all over the place because that makes you cool and rebellious).
My personal art/craft work in embroidery often deals with words. When done well, and properly, embroidery is a time-consuming process, so it’s fascinating to see and learn what I, and others, are prepared to put the time into embroidering. The fact that you’re prepared to spend x amount of time sewing that message speaks about the value you think that message has - it’s like old Entish, to use a Lord of the Rings reference - it takes a long time to say anything in old Entish, so you don’t say something unless it’s worth taking a long time to say. This belief that sewing certain things is somehow “ironic” irritates me. For me, the ironic thing to do would be to collect things that you think AREN’T worth taking the time to embroider, and then sewing them anyway. But is that even possible? Are you bestowing the very value you think is absent when you choose to embroider them? I’m not sure, but I’d certainly find it more interesting than another cuss.
I just get really angry about people treating embroidery like a joke medium because the only reason embroidery is not just as respected as painting and sculpture is because it’s traditionally a women’s medium and therefore is not often shown in museums or taught in art schools. Like seriously the…
Also: In my personal experience, embroidery by men gets taken more seriously, because oh my gosh, they’re working in a “traditionally female”* medium and isn’t that just AMAZING?
*Even though it wasn’t, originally.
The top poem is ‘The Divine Image’ from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence. The lower poem is ‘The Human Abstract’ from Songs of Experience.
Half way through finishing the lower piece I realised I should have done it upside down rather than just right aligned. So that at any one time only one of the poems would have been the correct way up to read. Live and learn.
This represents about five hours work. It’s not the sewing that takes so much time, but the jumping around, finding the next spot, occasionally undoing, realising you’ve forgotten a solitary N somewhere and finding the thread out again just to fill in that one letter.
This is just under half of the planned piece. It’s William Blake’s ‘The Divine Image’.
This is the beginning of an art project called ‘Mycenae’. At the end of the Mycenaean era, when the palaces burned to the ground, the permanent records of the people - written in leather - were burned along with everything else. But their temporary records, written in recyclable clay, we’re fired in the heat and thus preserved by the same act that destroyed everything else. Life loves irony.
The project here is to take temporary communications (or things we perceive as temporary) - email exchanges, instant message conversations, text exchanges, even snail spam mail - things we don’t mean to preserve, and imprint them on porcelain tablets, firing and preserving them.
I’ll admit one tablet by itself really doesn’t look all that impressive. This is a project which - if it works at all - will work because of the scale. Imagine hundreds of those tablets covering a whole wall, each one containing incidentally preserved fragments of peoples’ lives.
This is something I made a few months ago now, whilst procrastinating and avoiding other projects. I guess it’s a combination of my Iliad project, and another piece I was working on - The Text Gazes Back (of which there are photos on my website: www.theclassicist.co.uk).
It’s the emotional states of characters throughout book one, represented by emoticons. Every row represents a different scene.
Maths + crochet + ceramics = ???
Silence will fall.
You should kill us all on sight.