“In the old days, the old fellows were sitting around, all the women were laughing , joking – so all that conversation has gone into the basket.”
Verna Nichols , Tasmania
This quote gathered to much up, how I feel about my practise.
When I look again at the cloth were people have embroidered on on now 4 occasions, it seems as if I can still her the voices, the stories and the laughter. And I see as well those, how were quietly stitching, not saying much, but listing and still part, adding their stitches.
My practise has these two aspects
– creating spaces where people can experience again a communal situation, of working with their hands creatively and being with people
– working on my own with very slow technique using Embroidery, Knitting, Crochet and very recently hand spinning as a meditative activity
– Working with my “traveling” projects where ever I am, on the train, in Cafés, with friends talking at the Folk evenings in my home town
Sometimes when I pick up a embroidered cloth, or a hat, knitted from my own pattern and from well chosen wool, I smile as the memories flood back.
The more I think about it, the more I realise that the underlying intend for my activities, shared and alone is Wellbeing.
I was invited by Ilker Cinarel to take part in the exhibition:
INNterval – An artistic collaboration at the Halsetown Inn – a tribute to the legacy of J.Henry Irving.
The Halsetown Inn, 2nd / 8th February 2014
It was a mixed media show, ranging from painting, drawing, sculpture, video, photography and Embroidery!
It was a wonderful night for me, as right from the beginning of the private view till the end people were gathering around the table and started stitching. As a space became free, someone new joined in!
When I was talking to people, I noticed the joy and pleasure, they took out of this rather unexpected opportunity in the context of an otherwise conceptual exhibition setting. It was interesting to watch people stitching and talking, with great intensity!
I am very thankful to Ilker Cinarel, for the opportunity to show my work and to all the people who became participants in the Joy of Stitch!
Here are the first glimpses from the Graduation show! what pleases me most, is that people have been in acting with the embroidery and added their stitches to the large cloth which was started at the Event at the Exchange, Penzance.
Soon there will be more photos and reflective writing. The Show comes down on Friday, 21. June.
I have been reading in Jane Brocket’s book ‘The Gentle Art of Stitchning’ and came across Sashiko Embroidery. I amfazinted by the imagges of old, traditionalle Sashiko, which was used for darning and embellishing at the same time. I love the look of the worn and faded indigo dyed cloth, embroidered with white cotton yarn. I had come across these images before when I was researching about the Japanese Wabi-Sabi philoshophy . So many aspects of this tradition appeal to me, it the simplicity of the stitch, the matrial and the underlying idea to use it for mending and caring.
“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”
Being mindful, while stitching, brings the dimension to it, I am looking for.
The book “Happiness” by Thich Nhath Hanh is a great inspiration on this way.
It makes a great difference when I stitch and calm my mind. I love the term “Monkey Mind”, it feels friendly, just something that is and sometimes it needs very gentle calming down, a chance to be grounded and relax. I can be kind to my own Monkey Mind and Stitching help’s me to find these moments when breathe and stitch and breathe and smile and with every Stitch come back to breathing in and out.
Stitching brings me into the present when I take care of my mind.
Mindfulness, Slowness, Environmental Responsibility and Connetedness with other people are foundation aspects in my work.
Most of the time it is another shawl, usual triangular.
My nearest and dearest groan:” Not another one!!” and I think: “Oh, yes please!”
Why? I love the action of working with my hand and I want to enjoy it, without being distracted by complicated pattern etc.
I love the feel of wool, my wooden knitting needles and the rhythm I can get into.
The action of a handcraft like knitting and embroidery brings me right into the moment, centers my attention.
It brings a satisfaction with it which is hard to explain, because it is the slow steady rhythm,
the looking back over the finished stitches, there is no hurry to fulfill a deadline, they are works in progress.