Thursday, 13 July 2017

A cloud dress for a princess

My final piece for the Travelling Book project!  Inspired by the story of Princess su su, as told by Suzanne Langston-Jones and fellow artists (see previous post), I have created a cloud dress from silk paper.

The shape of the dress is long and thin and would easily fit into the cracks in the castle walls.  The silk paper is semi-transparent and a lovely blue/grey colour - just the same as the sky.  I have stitched small circles in fine white cotton perle yarn to represent clouds.  Large blueish sequins have been attached in the style of shisha mirrors, a new skill for me and one that I think Princess su su would have approved of.  The story describes her dresses as reflecting the skies and the changing seasons and I think that mirrors would help this.  They are also a common feature of fairy stories, offering a means of seeing the past or future.

I have loved every book that I've worked on over the last 6 months.  It's been a joy to see how others have interpreted the same theme and a huge challenge to produce something new.  Now it's time to kick back and enjoy the summer.  Happy holidays!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Looking for inspiration

The final leg of the Travelling Book journey and the theme is Fairy Tales.  As you might expect with 5 very talented embroiderers' going before me, the task of finding some fresh inspiration is becoming more difficult.

Instead of looking at traditional fairy tales I have chosen to study something in the more recent past:   Artist, Suzanne Langston-Jones collaborated with Clare Phillips to create the story of Princess su su which was told through the work of Suzanne and ten invited artists.  The exhibition toured the country in 2002 and was covered by Embroidery Magazine that year (Volume 53).

Princess su su did not look like a 'real' princess - she did not have long blonde hair and blushing cheeks, a golden crown or a velvet gown.  Her hair was short and brown with bits of grey.  Although she lived in a castle quite hapily, it was not her castle.  The family who lived in the castle did not notice Princess su su because she lived in the wallpapers covering its tall rooms.

My friend Claire Hignett, first told me about Princess su su when I was researching stories for my HNC final show at Bradford College in 2009.  Claire came to my rescue again and has sent me copies of the show catalogue which took the form of a beautiful fan.