Since the last blog I have been working on the rock outcrops and beginning to add more depth to the background texture. The beading is beginning to take on a more refined look.  I have begun to leave more space between beads in some areas and am incorporating the French knot embroidery technique.  Working with the two mediums is giving the work a more varied texture.  I delayed fixing the last completed section in place until the next was well underway.  Lining up the “flow” is becoming increasingly important.

I began adding more texture to the background after gluing the last section in place.  As I look at the overall composition I am thinking about refinement and what will be needed to achieve a sense of unity to the piece.  Today I removed the first section at the lower centre of the torso, which had become a representation of the umbilicus/naval.  I felt it was too densely beaded and dark to tie in with the more delicate work recently completed.

I am beginning the shoulder section here that acts as a “sash” extending from the right of the torso over the shoulder.  The silk fibre mould has provided a rounded pocket-like form that I am beginning to visualize as a “breast-like” form.  I am adding in my “antique” buttons and beads to provide more history and depth of meaning to the work.

The top section provided a form that suggested the female breast.  A mixture of embroidered knots, and seed pearl and coloured beads provide the texture of the areola and nipple itself.  I am going to leave the smooth silk casting exposed, which provides another texture and metaphor to the suggested form.  I have added in another of the white lichen forms taking the history of this work further back in time.  Many of these lichens are estimated to be hundreds if not thousands of years old.  Around the perimeter of the lichen I have incorporated some small grey and black beads not only to create the shadowing, but to introduce the darker basalt rock.  I am thinking at this point, more dark beads  will be added to the background/support sculpture itself.  I’m not sure if they will be stitched or strategically placed and glued down.

I have added the photograph of my original Beausoleil rock.  The meaning of this name is “beautiful sun.”  The Island, located in Southern Georgian Bay, is a large rock formation that was home to the Beausoleil First Nation Today it is enjoyed by boaters and campers.  The original people retain some of this land, but the remainder is owned by Parks Canada.

I have worked on the adjacent panel to provide a second breast-like form – a slightly smaller section than the one above.  Working on these representational and distorted female forms is reminiscent of the Pablo Picasso’s later works such as Girl before a Mirror (1932)

Because of its irregularity and the way that I have had to cut and stitch the underlying cotton support for the protruding section, I am seeing this as a surgeon may.  The tiny white seed beads have been applied closely to represent the thickness of scar tissue.

The reading of this section has additionally become map-like.  I see a form that reads like my former home:  the North Island of New Zealand.  It is an elongated island with Auckland towards the north, Wellington at the Southern tip and a protrusion of land to the east and west.  The island is volcanic with a significant range of active volcanoes in the centre.  Together with its South Island, the indigenous people, the Maori, called it Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud.  Go to this site for some spectacular filming

Today I cast some of the last sections for working up.  I have lichens to create and complete, and then the background to work on to tie everything together.  Can I do it in 2 weeks?



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *