Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Re-visiting Previous Work

I was going to add some more photos from Iran ( lots more still to share) but then I went off track when reading Olga's blog and got to thinking about how ideas for pieces of work can seem suddenly relevant after a few years laid to rest. Perhaps some have a greater gestation period than others or need to be put aside for a while. The paintings of Atsuhide Ito that Olga highlighted really resonated for me with some ideas and sample pieces I made in 2004. I hadn't had my digital camera that long and coming home from the Festival of Quilts I snapped out of the train window and really liked the blurred landscapes and the reflections off the carriage windows. I experimented with printing double images on cotton and overlaying with silk organza for that months Journal quilt
I then did some printing of some simpler images onto silk and applied them to some old wool blanket and joined the whole lot together with twin needle stitching. There were 6 sections in total and I was planning how I might extend this idea, making an even longer work. One of the problems was that long narrow pieces are difficult to photograph and display ( as for fitting them into a quilt category........) so I didn't take it further at the time.

Train Sequence 2

Train sequence 4


Train sequence 6

I still continued to take pictures from trains including a trip to Japan - I loved the familiarity of the images ( tracks, pylons , stations, etc) but also the differences -, the scale of landscape, the colours (bright green rice fields) and shapes of buildings. I have a whole folder called (imaginatively! )Japan Train - some images below.






So why haven't I worked since on blurred train images? I think that might go back to 7/7 2005 when I was on the last train from Kings Cross seconds before the bombs went off. I was at a meeting in Peterborough and thought I would be stranded there with no information about what had happened to friends and family. In the end I got home very late thanks to someone giving me a lift well out of his way and coming into Ealing from Reading on the train. My July Journal quilt was based on that experience and I did think of using photos I'd taken previously on that route and calling it 'the Journey home' but it felt wrong - it was too obvious , too personal and quilts with meaning spelt out are not my style.
But I'm excited now about re-visiting the idea of a 'train' quilt , especially with the Japanese images. Just don't read anything into it........

6 comments:

jude said...

go for it. beautiful idea.

Olga said...

I'm with Jude. I love the images and I think there's real potential there.

verobirdie said...

Oh! this is amazing and beautiful!

The Wittering Rainbow said...

Yes I like these images too. I was saddened to read of your experineces with trains and I would have felt the same. Perhaps you could take a new journey somewhere to develop some pieces in a similar vein?

margaret said...

For format - why not a folding book? That would add the "personal interaction" dimension as the viewer turns the pages. I like the idea but haven't actually tried making a fabric book ... yet ...

The final photo has resonance with the work of Donald Hamilton Fraser - http://www.brookgallery.co.uk/artist.php?arid=16, for example.

magsramsay said...

Thanks for all the support and encouragement.
I like the idea of doing a fabric book but probably not for this project - I want to maintain the linear qualitity of trains: the carriages, the trainlines.