Saturday, 22 February 2020


Once upon a time

Stopping to have the car’s battery checked, I noticed this derelict building next door. The window seemed to cry out, willing me to listen, wanting me to tell its story of neglect and decay, so I took this picture, knowing I would one day share it through my art.






Looking through my fabrics a while ago, I came across a piece that had got wet and was covered in mildew. I simply couldn’t throw it away, so I kept it in my special stash.
When Jinnie chose ‘Windows’ as the new theme for the next ’12 by the dozen’ series, I remembered my saved photo and the fungus fabric; I had my first piece of fabric just waiting for me to start!






I built up the total picture by dividing it into sections, allowing me to work on each segment separately. In this way I could remain focused. When one segment ground to a standstill through flagging inspiration, I quickly changed over to something more interesting. As I worked, I could hear the window talking to me … … “Once upon a time I was new … I was freshly painted … the wall around me was smoothly plastered … I was not always in a state of deterioration and dying … tell them I lived!” 






With this piece I have tried to tell you the story of that window.

Allison

15 comments:

  1. Clever use of your piece of fabric Allison . Did you print the photo onto the fabric or did you paint it all on adding fabric pieces as it evolved? You chose a complicated picture which you interpreted very well indeed.

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    1. Hi Rosemary. No, I didn't print or paint the background fabric first. The fabric I used on the left and right side of the piece was the 'mouldy' fabric I mentioned. Once I had all the background fabrics down, I coloured them with oil sticks here and there as needed.

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  2. I love it! And I am interested to know the answer to Rosemary's question regarding whether you printed on fabric. I haven't done that before but am about to by a printer and give it a go. What city do you live in?

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    1. Lesson learned! Look at offerings on my computer rather than on my phone and I can see much more detail. I can see how you cleverly layered pieces to create the image. So skillful and effective.

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    2. I live in Durban, South Africa; Phil lives in the same coastal city but about 20 kilometres apart and I am closer to the port.

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  3. Very interesting how you put all the pieces together and managed to get it to the place you wanted. This is proving to be a very challenging subject and not as easy as it sounds. Well done.

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    1. Thanks Patricia. Really enjoyed doing this piece ie building it.

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  4. I love this piece, though weirdly my eye is constantly drawn to the drainpipes surrounding the window (maybe because we're having an extension built at the moment). The fabrics you have used are perfect for the feel of this piece

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    1. It was a challenging photo to interpret and I was very happy with the result. I have the piece hanging on our entrance wall but I think my last 'landscape piece' is more 'welcoming and cheerful!'

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  5. I really like your interpretation of the window and its surrounding, and the way you have layered it. Your mouldy fabric just goes to show that we should never throw anything out: you never know when it might come in useful!

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    1. Thanks Jinnie. It was heartbreaking opening - up some bags of fabric I had kept in a shed and finding all the fabric damp and rotting! Couldn't throw all of it away - managed to save some.

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  6. Wow, I had to enlarge to see the detail as well. Great textile piece. You have done your photograph proud.

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    1. I was dying to come and show you when I finished it... and then I posted it too early! Have started taking more pics of windows around Durban - for a later challenge.

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  7. Fungus fabric rules. This is the perfect reason why we never throw anything away - your choice of fabric and photo composition make a stunning piece of work.

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  8. Allison, this is a tour de force. Beautifully interpreted with carefully chosen fabrics and embellishments. Well done. Definitely deserves pride of place in your home. Hilary

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