Sunday, 28 October 2007


Photo - approaching through the 'Siq'

Watercolour of the Urn and Silk Tombs (painted on site)

Watercolour of the Treasury (from photograph)

Finished Quilt (60 x 60 cm)
Petra is one of those places that despite the increased tourism and associated kitsch lives up to all the hype. I visited Xmas 2001 and had 2 days there - the first with a guide , the 2nd free to wander. As we approached the Treasury through the 'Siq' we were told to close our eyes for the last few metres- corny but the impact on looking for the first time was tremendous. 2 days gave the opportunity to explore the huge site (including climbing up for a birds-eye view), see structures in different lights and paint quite a few watercolours ( although those unwordly colours are difficult to capture)
For quite a while on my return I had the sketches and a rough layout ( with fabric swatches) for a long thin quilt pinned up on my design wall. Then there was a call for entries for 'Poetry in Stitches', textile pieces 60 x 60 cm interpreting poems in a booklet ' Poems in the Waiting Room' to be displayed in hospital waiting rooms . One of the poems was 'Petra' with that well-known quote ' a rose-red city half as old as time' - a challenge to rethink a long thin quilt into a square one!
I decided to do it as a combination of 2 views , the walk through the Siq and a close-up of the treasury. The 'Siq' side was constructed from painted 'shot' silk taffeta with strips of different purple fabrics applied over the top. The 'Treasury' side was a photo printed over 3 A4 pieces of organza ( quite tricky to match up) laid over different coloured silks and cut back in places and quite heavily quilted. In the flesh (if you can call it that!) the treasury really seems to glow - the effect of having the bright silk shining through the organza.
That was 2 years ago - its since been exhibited at several shows and galleries, featured in the book associated with the project but for the last few months its been in Kingston hospital shortly to be returned. Now I'm planning my next Poetry in Stitches piece- 'Giant'
Taking of structures ( rather a tenuous link this), half of the scaffolding is now up. The scaffolders were supposed to come on Saturday afternoon and we waited in but they never turned up. On Sunday when we returned from our outing for Sunday lunch to the Lord Nelson (excellent organic roasts) and light buying expedition to B&Q , there was scaffolding up on the front of the house! As we weren't in, they couldn't take it through the house to the back so goodness knows when they'll be back again.

1 comment:

The Wittering Rainbow said...

I love this! It's really fabulous.