Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Exploring people

When it comes to drawing I have always been more comfortable with nature than with people, but I welcomed the challenge to move out of the comfort zone.

But so we don't rush too quickly into this domain, lets begin with a design which was really based on leaves, as we have Eve still half hidden behind the fig leaves.

I wove a small section of this and enjoyed the challenge of creating the same effect on both leaves while weaving them from different orientations to the warp.
15.5cm x 10cm
Having got beyond the leaves as a disguise I thought it best to start with myself, so as not to  disgrace anyone else. Responding to an assignment to depict a story of a difficult moment in life, I went back to myself as a small child being put in a bathing beauty competition. Not being a willing party to this idea, and probably not having a clue what it was about till I was thrust out on the stage with 4 other 'bathers', it was a bit of a shock. Returning to how I felt at the time, I came up with this drawing of myself frozen in the overwhelming experience.

Drawing this really helped me love that little child, threatened on all sides by adults, grabbing hands and flying lollies. I chose a small area to weave which included ME and hands and the lollies. Notice I have woven it on its side to avoid any stepping in the body outline, so I was pleased I managed a bit of a nose, though it made the shadows on the lolly wrappings a bit more of a challenge.

23cm x 13cm
Well, I am ready to tackle people a bit more head on, but I start relatively safely with 2 imaginary mythic faces.
I called this 'The Sun God Awakens Mother Earth'.
Getting more courageous to try something more realistic I turned to the local paper for news photos which I redesigned in my own way
This I titled 'The environmental Executives"

This was based on 2 figures watching for race results but I exaggerated the expression a bit to make it seem they could have been watching something a bit more horrifying. Then I chose to weave a section of one of the faces. I really enjoyed  mixing all the exotic colours for the shading. Getting the mouth shape right was a challenge as it kept compressing as I wove above it - a bit of 'unweaving' was required.
Another challenging assignment was to design a hypothetical commission for a community performance space. I chose a local dance/theatre training space which has beautiful clear walls. The owner of this space chose to have a vaudeville theme for this hypothetical $25,000 tapestry, so I set about my research on suitable imagery. I didn't think I could escape figures in this one.
This is the design I came up with. The outside colour is the colour of the feature wall it would hang on.
Its really just a mosaic of images which I have tried to put together in traditional tapestry style. I would love to have been able to take it further and made it more impressionistic or abstract, but I am not quite up to that yet. So I wont be looking for commissions with figures just yet and I am glad this was just a pretend commission. But I did weave a small section at the scale it would be in the hypothetical weaving.
This piece is 26 cm x 16.5 cm
After all these explorations I was ready to get back to nature. Coming up soon.



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