Notes from Yesterday. It’s early morning here in Cape town and the day is going to be busy. The mountain is grey still and when I finish this, it will be in bright sunshine. We drive on a very narrow road where hills rise to huge heights on the left. The ground drops hundreds of feet on the other side of the road to meet the foaming turquoise ocean. Along the way we come upon beaches fringed with white houses, they present a universal affluence. Ocean views give way to lush green pastures and small towns are nestled in tree lined valleys. Many of the houses in the more remote areas are very modest. Towns with interesting names like Fish Hoek and Noordhoek. This area is unique, the mountains and prevailing ocean winds cause cloud vacuums and clouds burst through the mountain cuttings like grey rolling blankets. Sometimes when we stop at a stop light, women approach the bus with white paper in the hand. I’m led to believe that it has their name and address …
It’s taken me a while to write this story. Most of you on my blog, are quilters or love the art of Textiles. We have a textile advantage that we take for granted so today I share a story of art and experimental reinvention. Dena Crain a quilter from Kenya, taught the local ladies a technique called “Siddi” quilting. “What on earth is Siddi Quilting” you say? Basically its a style of quilt known as a Kawandi and it is made by the generations of Siddi people taken to India some 400 years ago as indentured workers… possibly slaves. Based on DNA information it would appear that about 50% of the Indian Siddi population are descendants of Bantus from East Africa, while many others are descendants of Ethiopians. Although the Siddis have adopted many Indian characteristics, there are still some cultural elements that are regarded as their own and of African origin. These include the making and use of patchwork quilts known locally as kawandi. These are made by women and used as covers, mattresses and …
I’ve had a busy few days and I’ve finished two quilts this week. “Edna” the Elephant. The idea of the elephant was on a poster on a wall in India. I can’t find the picture, it was just in my mind somehow. I began with fabric from India, the green fabric and the orange is Cotton Rubia fabric. Of course the Taj Mahal is real and drawn with pigment ink on the rubia before it was sandwiched. This is one of my own photos. Th ink worked well on the Rubia fabric. Kaffe Fassett fabric worked well for the blanket. I colored the orange with white ink and the tusks are white fabric that I have illustrated. The ink is pigment and permanent. In beginning to quilt it, I first stitched around the pattern on the blanket in black thread. then the elephant was quilted the same way. I freehand drew a continuum of the pattern of the blanket onto the body of the elephant, it reminds me of the henna patterns we all have …
Share your love, your joy, and the things you have learned on your journey
This will be somebody else’s courage.
Travel the world and feel every moment of the experience.
Love with passion, give freely, take with grace.
Speak honestly, walk with pride and learn constantly.
Once you have the tools, you can build the life you dream of.
Yesterday I had a day off from work in the studio. My Sister and I visited the Art Gallery of South Australia. As a member I get lots of wonderful information about lectures, talks and cultural walks and after attending one of the talks I came across this exhbition. I think it’s beauty and simplicity talks for itself. These ladies are indeed true Textile Artists.
I finished this small sample completely today by adding strips of Kantha to the border, well actually as the border… now it goes into the class demonstration file.
I’m in the design process.
Did it begin today?
No, it began when I took the photo in India a month ago and it’s been floating around in my mind and popping into my mind for short periods of time in the past few weeks.
The show opened officially for the full day today and I’m told it was absolutely packed. Around noon, 2 million people descended on Houston for the Astros trade. The town turned Orange, I sort of thought it was for me, the roads and parks turned a bright shade of orange.
Sharing the art of Sue Spargo.
I will take photos in sections and share them. These images are not for publication beyond this blog and I ask that you respect the right of the creator.