What a long strange trip it’s been…

25 09 2008
Woman of the Inner See
Woman of the Inner See

This wall hanging is obviously still a work-in-progress, but I think it’s far enough along for people to start to get the gist of where I’m going.  I kind of needed a little encouragement to keep going at this point, too. *sheepish grin* 

I have a machine but have learned that I far prefer to do all my stitching by hand.  Textile work is MUCH slower than any type of artwork I’ve ever done before, even papier mache. 
This work is made up of -as you can likely tell – discarded clothing.  I make no attempt to hide that fact, leaving hems, buttons, and pockets in place.  I’m open to suggestions of what to stuff into the pockets when the piece is finished! 
When it’s finished you will be able to tell (hopefully) that it is an abstract underwater theme.  The next fabric addition of tattered green chenille looks much like seaweed or algae-type stuff.   
This red fabric ‘peeking out’ through the re-purposed skirt takes the place of the Inner See’s “coral”, with the skirts pinned back with faux pearls to  reveal the “coral reef” and the strange ‘see creatures’ floating about the piece.  (They were fun to make!)
In general, the piece is a metaphor rising to mind from the title of a book: Woman of the Inner Sea, an intriguing title and a very intriguing book set in Australia.  I highly recommend it.  It also springs from lines in a grateful dead tune: Sometimes the lights are shining on me / other times I can barely see / reminding me / what a long strange trip it’s been (please don’t shoot me if I got them slightly mixed right now it’s late and I’m zonked)
These ‘see creatures” are simply black airbrush paint painted onto unbleached linen with a basic brush.  I then cut out the shape with a generous margin and ironed it onto some double-sided heat n’ bond that was cut to fit exactly the shape of the eye minus the unpainted margin.  When the bonded fabric had cooled I picked at the excess (unbonded) part of the fabric around the eye until all the threads were raggedy and loose and then bonded that piece directly onto the wall hanging.  Fun stuff! 
The other ‘see vegetation’ you see is made of sisal (the stalk), twine, and beads.  The entire piece was inspired by a sketch I made one afternoon.  I have never before attempted to translate any of my sketches into another medium.  Hmmm.  So far it’s been great fun. 



4 responses

25 09 2008
Heather Blakey

It is a joy to see you posting your work here Steph. This really is a wonderful environment to share and gain inspiration.

25 09 2008

Your muse, Steph, is in high gear. Keep up the good work. I will be eager to see the finished work.


26 09 2008

Oooh what a wonderfully intriguing piece this is and so inspired and inspiring. I am the same re the hand-stitching, takes me forever but I really prefer it to using the machine. As for what to stuff in the pockets how about asking the “Woman” in question and see what she wants – or you could stitch messages?
Looking forward to watching this progress. Great stuff Steph 🙂

26 09 2008

Steph love,

What sort of things does the Woman of the See need in her pockets? I really like the feel of this piece, it shows off your depths so well.


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