Thursday, 1 December 2011

Street Life

‘Street life’ or ‘Life on the street.’

I drive my daughter to school every morning and we cross a very busy intersection (Plamondon and Cote des Neiges) where there is a crossing guard and many children. Most mornings we chat about what we see. The changing seasons are very visible at this intersection - either the mounds of snow or piles of leaves. We often comment on the attire of those crossing the road and discuss how their clothing and paraphernalia (snow boards, skate boards, hockey sticks, roller blades etc) relate to the seasons. In our opinion, autumn (or fall) wins the trophy! The season starts with a few unremarkable brownish leaves and ends with an enormous collection of every shade of autumn you can imagine. One morning this past autumn, when the leaves were at their best and many of the children began to wear their warm, brightly colored jackets, my daughter said, ‘Mommy, why don’t you sew this for ‘Street life?’ That did it!

Techniques are appliqué on steam a seam for the people , the sign, the building and windows. For the autumn leaves I ‘sliced’ bits of silk and bonded them to the background with steam a seam and bo-nash. I did not cover these silk bits with tulle or anything similar because I kind of don’t mind if bits of the silk ‘flutters’ around much like the leaves. If they eventually all disappear off this piece, that will be part of what we see at this very interesting intersection. One of my favorite South African artists (no, not William Kentridge …) is Jan Van der Merwe http://www.art.co.za/janvandermerwe/ . He works in rust which also changes its composition over time. I used this rationale when deciding not to ‘trap’ my leaves down.

I had fun with this piece – it was quite a ‘leap’ out of my usual style.

8 comments:

  1. In a crazy way, this piece reminds me of the Wailing Wall piece you showed us more than a year ago. Those little figures with their backs to the viewer, the imposing wall in the background, the sense of being in a courtyard or enclosed space. Go figure....

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  2. Fun and light interpretation has come thru in most of the pieces. I have enjoyed them all.

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  3. This is lovely Pam, and so different from many of your pieces. I hope you had as much fun making it as I have in viewing it.

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  4. I thought this was a delightful piece and fun too. I loved the little figures and how you interpreted the subject - I envy you the change in seasons. We have more of a change of seasons here on the highveld but certainly not as much as you do - certainly visually. Lovely altogether.

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  5. Your piece made me smile as I wondered why the crossing guard has a tank top on when everyone else has a shirt and obviously the season is getting colder because of the fallen leaves...this is the same smile I get when I see teenagers going to school in shorts, t-shirts and flip flops when I am wrapped up in a sweater and jeans!! So many levels...

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  6. Quite a departure from your usual style Pam! A fantastic interpretation of the theme. Lots of fun to look at.

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  7. What a lovely inspiration. And a classic street life scene. Nicely executed.

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  8. How nice to have your daughter's involvement in this piece. I hope she approves!

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