Tag Archives: Wabi Sabi

39

Sometimes you don’t know what you are doing or why you are doing it until later….

In memory of 39 migrants who lost their lives in a sealed container

lift the flap of old blanket and there hidden beneath is the number 39

in memory of the 39 migrants who lost their lives in a sealed container

I was on an Art Course last week and on Wednesday I created this piece – today, as I realised its connections and significance, I added the number 39, painted on with my finger, hidden beneath the piece of old blanket.

The process:

Our tutor, Helen Turner, did a demonstration using this red acrylic paint. It is not a colour I usually use, so to push myself out of my comfort zone I used the paint in various experiments.

At the end of the day whilst clearing up I cleaned my brush by wiping it backwards and forwards across a piece of A2 cartridge paper

I wasn’t sure how to use the piece of canvas, so I placed it on the paper whilst clearing up and left it there overnight. It had the look of a blood-soaked piece of cloth.

The next day, I put these three elements together. The weave of the blanket going with the criss-cross of the paint on the paper. The red blanket stitch, chiming with the colour of the paint. (The blanket is one that I had collected to send to Syrian refugees a few years ago – it was so old and threadbare, I had kept it back, wondering if I could use it in some creative way.)

I did not make the connection until today, but that morning at 1am, 39 dead migrants were found in a container in Purfleet, Essex, 50 miles away from where I was staying. The container was being driven by a red and white truck.

The aesthetic we were trying to embrace is Wabi Sabi, an Eastern concept, the migrants, so we have heard, were either from China or Vietnam.

Today I was going through the artwork I had done on my course and suddenly made the connection – I added the number 39.

It is now a piece in memory of those particular 39 migrants and all the other thousands who have died fleeing from war and poverty, searching for a better life.

An Arty Week

You might know that I am drawn to all things Japanese (here are some links to my posts about my trip to Japan in 2015) and have been most of my adult life. So when I saw a course at a highly respected art school entitled Abstract Painting and Wabi Sabi I just had to book a place.line, mark, charcoal, explore

You can Google ‘Wabi Sabi’ to find a definition and will get a few different results, I fear it might lose something in translation but in the context of abstract works of art this is my own best shot: the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi, briefly/loosely translated as the celebration of materials and imperfection, leaving things unfinished for the viewer to complete it in their own experience of the piece. 

I learnt by doing, that it is also about immersing oneself in the materials, the properties of the materials and about how ones body and inner senses respond to the materials.

After booking this course, I heard about an exhibition in which a blogging friend, Alastair Duncan was exhibiting his interactive weaving, which I talked about in this post.

Alastair Duncan interactive weaving

AND THEN!

ANTONY GORMLEY at the Royal Academy – I just had to go and see that!Antony Gormley

To fit all this in I stayed in an Air BnB in Horsham in West Sussex, which had free parking and was just a 10 minute walk to the train station. In just over an hour I could be in Central London.

I drove the 3 hours to  Horsham last Saturday.

Visited the Espacio Gallery on Sunday – which I will tell you about in a future post. London gallery

There I met with 2 other members of the Stitchbook Collective – Oh SO lovely to make these creative connections!!

On Monday I travelled up to the Royal Academy for the Antony Gormley exhibition, Gormley at the RAwhich was absolutely amazing of course, but not quite so impactful as his exhibition in 2007 at the Hayward Gallery which I often think of and stays with me on some deep inner level.

And then on Tuesday I started my Wabi Sabi voyage of discovery with Helen Turner in Partridge Green, just a 20 minute drive each day from my cosy self-catering pad.

Wabi Sabi

I loved every minute! I got home yesterday.

So much to tell you about. So many photos to sift through!

Wordless Wednesday: Wabi Sabi

wabi sabi, art course

wabi sabi art course

wabi sabi art course with Helen Turner

charcoal, wabi sabi, art course

On a fabulous art course with Helen Turner this week.

Wabi Sabi

DSC_0051Ok! Before I start – just imagine fireworks actually exploding in glorious technicolour right out of the screen!

Yep!

That’s how my heart felt when I received this wonderful book in the post from my lovely friend, Linda.  ❤  THANK YOU LINDA!  ❤

It hits so many targets! There are collages as illustrations and a sweet fable of a story about finding beauty in unexpected places. Haiku are sprinkled throughout, with references to classic Haiku Masters at the end. The haiku are also written in Japanese. This book is so utterly beautiful to me.DSC_0057

Set in Kyoto, it is written by Mark Reibstein with art by Ed Young and published by Little Brown and Company.

I am drawn to all things Japanese at the moment – still head-over-heels in love with the place. So this book is a delightful feast and a lovely book to be looking at as I knit a stack of hats.

In February my family is gathering for a weeks holiday together – to have all my children, their partners and their children under one roof is such a treat and something we only manage every other year. I have a picture in my mind of all 8 grandchildren in knitted Aran bobble hats, I want the photograph!

I could not find a suitable pattern so I am creating this one myself. It will be one of the new patterns that will go in my Ravelry and Etsy shops (one out of 4 new patterns for my 16 for 16). It takes several knit-throughs to get the pattern right and ready to sell, and I need to do them in 3 different sizes.

Here is a hat before sewing up the seam, the rib will fold up to give a double thickness to keep little pink ears cosy.

DSC_0055

The mock Aran cable does not need a cable needle so that I can knit away quickly and get the 8 finished in time.

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along.

Do you know of any other knitting, crochet or yarn meme’s to link in with?

Update: Thanks to Cathy for pointing me in the direction of Frontier Dreams, I’ve linked in.