Saturday, 25 May 2019


Big exhale - have been holding my breath as I was scared I was going to mess my piece up.  Thankfully I have reached the stage when I need to start quilting and strangely that is (hopefully!!!) going to be the easier job.  And yes, all those scraps are a kind of clue as to how detailed I have been working...


Friday, 1 March 2019


   I had never heard of Shamia Hassani and I liked her work when I first discovered it. However, I could not find anything that inspired me to make a piece of my own; her images are simple with a powerful message, and I did not feel I could use either her images or message as they are not mine.  I kept looking at her work and the only thing that I felt I could use was the lace-like stencilled backgrounds that appear in some of her work, but didn't know what I could put in the foreground. By the beginning of February I was beginning to think I was completely blocked. I looked through photographs of her work again and came across one that was in an exhibition in Kabul, that I had overlooked. I like the way in which the stencilled background becomes a part of the foreground of the clothing,  and the outlines of the figures.

  I go to a german conversation group here in Paris, and one of the articles that we read and discussed recently was about the memories of the two authors had about their grandmothers. This started me thinking about Nan, my paternal grandmother, who lived just round the corner from us and who was very important to me when I was growing up. When I was in England last summer, my aunt showed me all the photos that came from Nan's and gave me a duplicate of one of them, as I had no photos of her. It was taken some time in the fifties in Meadow Mill, one of the many cotton mills on Stockport, none of which remain. I remember her telling me about working in the mill, and also the hat factory, although unfortunately I cannot remember any of the details.

   I decided to use the image of Nan in silhouette and to quilt the details. I had a stencilled background sitting in my stash: I had tried out some new spray fabric paint, using one of those mats that you use in the sink as the stencil. I traced the photo and enlarged it, making a positive and a negative stencil, which I used with some Markal Paintstik.

   At first I thought to use just the one figure and include something else with it, but couldn't think of anything, so decided to do a positive and negative stencil. I think it would have been better suited to a rectangular format rather than  a square one as the balance is not quite right, but I am pleased with the  image and all the memories it brought back of Nan.

Shamia - an interpretation, and a confession

I was thrilled with Claire's choice of Shamia Hassani as our next artist for interpretation. I browsed the internet, and was fascinated with her inclusion of pianos in her works, as we are a musical family.

Taken from Shamia Hassani's website

I loved this video.
I decided to not use one of her works as such, but the photo of her in front of one of her works.

At first I thought I was going to literally interpret this, and played around with photoshop filters.

Then I arrived at this variation of the photo.

And chose to take one little detail of it from the lower middle of the picture.

It is so small in pixels, that I would have to enlarge the fragment, but that is not a problem.

But I also had to face the truth after Hilary's call to action in November whether I was still with the group - she held up the mirror to my face. And although I loved this idea, I never really had the leisure to sit down and work it through, put it into textile. Already in November I had understood that I would have to resign from the group, because my changed professional situation does not allow me to keep up with the rhythm of the challenges, although I love the idea, I like the community and I think I need some input like that. Life is not premitting this right now. Although I wanted to withdraw with a completed work, this did not happen, which makes me very sorry. I apologize - I will follow the blog and your developments and I do hope to meet some of you somewhere again.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Shamsia Hassani - an interpretataion

Thanks you for introducing us to Hassani's work - it took me down several different routes before finally deciding what I wanted to do.
I've been able to follow through with my original idea and focus on Shamsia Hassani's use of self portraiture. Unlike Hassani there is no political message behind my work, rather an expression of concern about the impact of people's backgrounds on their ability to fulfil their potential.


As with my previous challenges I have tried, where  possible, to bring in some of my African experiences to make it my own.  The streets of Afghanistan are very similar to the streets in Stonetown, Zanzibar so I browsed thru my photographs from our time in Tanzania and found this photo of the ruins of an old fort which gave me a perfect platform to have fun with.

Being a very strong Muslim Island the use of Henna designs on hands and feet are very obvious and the visibility of in particular the adornment of the women of the Masaai Tribe with their beaded headdress and necklaces have given me my inspiration for my street art.

My piece is a whole cloth, painted.  Painted lutradur has been stitched & cut out with a soldering iron, the Masaai heads fused and then adorned with my dotty tool, and the rest of the piece free motion quilted or embroidered in the case of the grass.

As I have not used one particular piece for my inspiration I have not posted anything.

Shamsia Hassani - Forward, onward , upward

'Forward, Onward, Upward'

I have enjoyed finding out more about Shamsia Hassani and understanding why she makes the art she does. I have enjoyed looking at her large murals and the small pieces when she uses her 'Dreaming Graffiti' concept. I like the way she is focussing on portraying the positives with the story she is telling.
I understand street art is not everyones idea of art, and the word 'graffiti' can put some people off, but I hope everyone got some pleasure from this artist.

I chose to follow through on her 'Dreaming Graffiti' concept and used a photograph of a hurricane damaged building that I took recently and added some painted images in Hassani's style.

'Forward, Onward, Upward' inspired by the work of Shamsia Hassani. Claire Passmore 2019

The story behind the picture:

The location is not somewhere most people would expect to find a building in this sort of condition,  in fact, I think it is a very well kept secret (I would say over half of all the buildings were in a similar state). A good proportion of the population have left the country as when the tourists stopped coming, their jobs in the hospitality industry disappeared. Hotel owners took the insurance money and left, so rebuilding did not happen. The tourists found other places to go and the Government lost most of its tax revenue.  As a result  and the whole place has a very bizzare sanitised abandoned look about it that is difficult to explain. Despite this,  those who remain still have an optomistic outlook on life and have a positive attitude. 'Forward, Upward, Onward Together is the Bahamian national motto, which I think echoes the message Hassani is also sending to the world too.

'Forward, Onward, Upward' (Detail) inspired by the work of Shamsia Hassani. Claire Passmore 2019


Rhapsody in Blue

At first I got caught up in her cause and the politics and the result was insincere and trite.  It wasn't until the last minute that I woke up to taking elements of her work and this is the result.

Rhapsody in Blue
The inspiration was drawn from these pictures.

Applique, and paint (Jacquard Lumiere).  Perhaps if I hadn't been working against the clock I might have positioned the scrolls better...


As has been said, Hassani sends her message out in her graffiti work in a very different and brave way of getting her message out to the world.  I used a stencil for the centre design and used oil paint sticks which represents the barrier that these women are put behind in their society.  The figure is hopefully giving out the message that they desire more from their life in music and dance.  I used intense blocks to paint the scarf and to give it more life.  Hopefully I have portrayed something of what her art represents.  I took my inspiration from most of what I found of her works.

To have a graffiti artist to interpret was an interesting exercise . Initially I gulped at the challenge but set about trying to understand Sharmsia's message . The lack of freedom for many women is what is reflected in her work and she sees art depicting women confined in their clothing and having little self expression as a way of portraying this .In my interpretation, taken from one of Sharmsia's images,  the face has no expression and her eye is closed but  the wind is catching some hair and there is music in her head to give her joy . The buildings are there to show where graffiti art is mainly done. Eyes may be just visible but can see much.

Artist at Work

I had a very hard time finding my inspiration in Hassani, not because I don’t admire her and her work, but because it didn’t speak to me. I was finally inspired by her many self portraits and use of blue and spirals to create this. I am not really thrilled with it, but it fulfils its mandate. 

Hassani inspiration



I certainly admire what Shamsia is doing and I also admire her courage in trying to put her art out there.  One thing that caught my attention is that she uses photographs and draws on them. 

So I have tried to take my love of photography, and my hesitant Photo shop skills and come up with lettering on one of my photos.  This view of the end of a glacier was taken a few years ago when we went on a Northwest Passage trip. 

I hummed and hawed about how much quilting to do.  So I didn't do much.  Skies are always a problem for me, and I didn't want to mess with the picture.  If you think I should have done more, please don't hesitate to say so. 

And the next chosen one is: