Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The African Influence again.

The impetus for my creativity is so often kickstarted by a nostalgic flick through the travel journals and photographs from our many holidays in sub Saharan Africa. There is something about the heat, the quality of the light, the wide open spaces, the colours, scents and sounds of places we have visited that I find irresistible. I usually find an image, a collection of images and my notes from a place trigger the desire to "make something". These forays into memory are usually accompanied by a trawl through my boxes of fabric. Normally broadly colour related the exception are the African collection which exists across the colours. Mostly purchases from my trips and from Maggie Relph but including regular commercial pieces which speak to me of the continent come out and I consider them in relation to the memory, the photos and how I felt there.
This summer I re read my journal from a trip to Zambia and Botswana and was instantly drawn to my description of a late evening on the edge of the Zambezi river.
I was on the shores of the Zambezi just above the point where it plunges over Victoria Falls. Here the river gathers pace in channels, areas to either side remain placid while in other areas  the water roils and boils, foams and bubbles as it seeks the fastest route over the edge. The moonlight here, without light pollution, is extraordinary and its reflection in the placid and roiling water was mesmerising. I wanted to try and create an abstracted evocative of this time and place.
I had a hand dyed length from Jo Lovelock and it was perfect as a proxy for the more placid areas of the river. This I quilted as a whole cloth in swirls that reminded me of the moving waters.

The swirling waters and the moonlight were harder to conjure. I had a collection of indigo dyed samples from a CQ winter school with Janice Gunner and found some home dyed fabrics with the same tones as the lighter area of the base quilt.

This was my palette and I strip pieced up a rectangle that was smaller than the base quilt so it could lie on top of the base.

To add movement to the reflections of the moon in the water I added thin strips from old denim jeans which I distressed to get frayed edges. I then added hand stitch to add a more dimensional feel. Both quilts were then faced and we're ready to apply the two together, hand stitched, off centre.

The quilt was then finished and had taken just than a month from start to finish!


1 comment:

  1. So interesting to go through your process, particularly choosing the fabrics and deciding how to use them. Love the finished piece.