Monday, 23 June 2008

June TIF - Persian Archer

I started off at the beginning of June with ideas around botanical labels and what they say about plants in response to the brief for TIF of 'stories that are, stories that are possible' . But the discovery of some of my mother's embroidery from 30 years ago that had resonance for me now felt far more compelling , an emotional rather than intellectual response.
I've written about this piece based on Susian guards in my previous post which sparked off a number of interesting comments. Where had she got the idea from ? - probably from books in the library (although I've got a lot of her books, this isn't in it). The colour choice is interesting - I'd forgotten until Ian mentioned it that the small museum at Persepolis was painted in colours based on fragments they'd found - everything that we think of being stone coloured would have been brightly painted For my modern interpretation I used a photo of the relica roof of the palace in terracota colours and used a detail of the stone relief of a Susian guard ( an archer) as a displacement map using Photoshop ( good to try a new technique out)

After several trials I was pleased with the result and printed it out on commercially treated fabric and used a linen as a border ( closest match I could find to the original fabric of the hanging)
For the back ( as I seem to be going down the double-sided approach to most of my TIF challenges!) I used a photo of a detail of the hanging using my own bubble-jet set treated fabric. Interestingly not such an intense colour - but then self coloured pieces are difficult to photograph and increase saturation for printing.

I used fairly simple quilting ( loved doing the spirals in the beard) and it had an interesting effect on the back. The edge is some cotton perle over stitched with zig-zag. As many of the hand embroidery threads I have come from my mothers stash, I'm fairly certain it was some of the original thread she used on her hanging.
What would she have thought of the methods and materials we have available today? A lot of her C& G work was quite innovative for the time so I like to think she'd have had a go at most things( she was always far more of an embroiderer than me - I only really like plain stitching ).
Despite using Persepolis as a design source , I don't think she would have actually wanted to visit Iran as I did - she died before I started most of my travelling but when I expressed an interest in going to Turkey she was rather alarmed so she probably would have worried for me. Having said that she was quite adventurous herself, traveling to Normandy, Belgium and Austria very shortly after the 2nd world war on her own or with friends.
Thinking about her piece and how little I knew about its inspiration and construction despite having lived with it for years made me realise the importance of keeping records and sketchbooks


Linda said...

What a wonderful story to be able to tell. I think your interpretation sits well with both your mother's generation and our own. I suspect she may have been proud of you:-)

Tanguera said...

Very cool results. I love your inspiration and where it lead you.


I really like what you do with photoshop and the printing on fabric.What a fantastic story too.