Tuesday, April 22, 2008

April Take It Further Challenge

I needed a bit of a jump start today and decided to get going on an idea I came up with for the April Take It Further Challenge. No, March is not done yet, and after mulling all month about the new key concept of "how do you see change," I decided whatever I did for it would be small and quick. I wasn't sure I wanted to do this one because I wasn't sure I could think of how to express a feeling. It was in one of those unguarded moments that the answer presented itself.

I do not like change. I like to get everything in order, to my liking, and then have it stay that way. Change makes me uneasy, change disrupts my routine, change takes time away from other things. Intellectually, I know that change is good, it can rejuvenate, solve problems, open up new worlds. Emotionally, I know that change is bad, it can unsettle me, create problems, force me to go places I think I'd rather not go.

So my idea is to create a textile piece that makes the viewer uneasy, even agitated, would show the disruption change can create. I thought I could choose colors that when placed together would vibrate, clash. After a bit of research into the effects of color, I decided to start with just two: a really vibrant lime green and a strong red. I tried other colors against those two, but because I'm working small and didn't want to fuss a lot, I decided these two working against each other was enough. It's hard to capture the effect on screen - you'll just have to trust me that the eye does not rest easy on these two. I cut some strips in various widths and sewed them together. Here you see the beginning of that process.

And here is the completed strip set.

I wanted to add something ominous, even negative, that would represent the very strong effect change sometimes has, cutting off what was before from what comes after. It occurred to me that I could slash the strip set and insert narrow bands of the black.

When sewing these pieces back together, I made sure they offset a bit.

But it wasn't quite enough of a jarring look for the way I feel about change. What if I slash again and resew without adding the black strip?

Now I felt I was getting that feeling of disruption so did it again in another corner. The top black strip isn't pieced in at this point. In fact, it is a trimming that I think I will just stitch down, raw edges exposed, a reference to the messiness change sometimes brings. I'm not sure if I'll do anymore slashing - probably not since I want to move on with this quickly.

I plan to add quilting that will continue the theme - perhaps jagged lines, trim the edges unevenly and run a single line of stitching around the outside. I may experimenting with attaching it to mat board or watercolor paper just for fun. It's only about 6 inches square at this point.

1 comment:

West Country Mother said...

What an extremely expressive piece this is. I sense all that jaggedness and alarm and disruption that you've put in it and it conveys a feeling of dislike against change so well done and brilliant. I confess I find it slightly unsettling and it makes me uncomfortable too. Can you find something good about change please so that the hairs on the back of my neck can rest easy??!!! (vbg)