The series of shibori-dyed and embroidered pieces I’ve been making for the past year are all tightly connected. Ideas that crop up in the midst of working on one usually find their way to actualization in the next. As such, all the works are related and in many ways companions. Yet these two peonies, the first pieces I’ve completed in 2018, are more tightly paired than all the rest.
As interpretations of a couple of sketches made two days apart last July, (note the progression of the blossom opening), they will be viewed side-by-side in my upcoming exhibit Drawing Threads: Conversations Between Line & Stitch. Variations in tone and scale are slight enough to leave no question that they were conceived together, yet subtle differences allow each to carry its own voice.
I dyed the silk for both of them at the same time, but with attention to maintaining some differentiation. Crescendo’s background is deeper and more saturated, begging for the strength and pop of the bold magenta threads. Powerful color allows the stitching to maintain authority amid the surrounding intensity of dye, while also providing a means of grounding the more open and fluttery petals.
The flowerhead of Pesante, heavier and more compact than that of Crescendo, works in tandem with its more muted background dye tones and the dustier colors of thread used to describe it. Its visual weight allows Pesante to hold its own against its showier sister.
Both images explore the same vase and table surface, yet it became apparent that each had to be approached differently…another fruitful learning experience.
These pieces are not a diptych, although they will be displayed together for the duration of the exhibit. They are independent of each other but they are still partners, which reminds me of a line from Kahlil Gibran’s poem On Marriage
“Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.”
On a different note:_________________________________________________________________________________________