Finally got round to getting myself an embroidery organiser! Took ages to wrap the floss round these tiny plastic pieces from my usual wooden pegs though, haha :P I love how portable this little box is #embroidery #hoopart #dmc
So, I’ve started on a very ambitious project. A project whose subject matter is twofold. It is both an exploration of folk symbolism in embroidery and a portrait of one of my favorite places in the world, Bona Dea Park located on Lake Dardanelle/Arkansas River.
This wetlands park is a place that I have spent time since I was around eight years old to the present. To me it is a sacred space much like a church is to most people in this region. I have done so many things here, spending time with family members and friends, bird watching and documenting plants, to drowning Morena (last photo).
The top photo is the portion of this piece that I want to highlight today. The second is of the entire piece to date. The third is a photo of a Slovakian piece that inspired the beginnings of the project. The rest are images from the park.
I’m not sure what birds the original folk artist intended to represent but I see them as ducks circling around a pond. There are many, many ponds in the Bona Dea wetlands area and they harbour a wide array of duck species, especially during the winter months. We are a part of the Mississippi Flyway.
I changed the center of the pond slightly, using a sown field motif (a fertility symbol dating as far back as the Neolithic and Paleolithic period in Eastern Europe) as the object that the ducks are circling around. I have blogged about the sown field motif here.
Elizabeth Wayland Barber on birds and other egg laying animals as folk motifs:
“What do frogs, birds, and fish have in common? they lay eggs. And
eggs, as we have seen produce life–hence their use at Easter and other
agrarian spring festivals to symbolize resurrections. As a seed is to
the plant world, so an egg is to the animal world: the mysterious
capsule of life, the miraculous little starter. No wonder the spring
feasts consisted of dishes made from eggs and grain. No wonder the
Dancing Goddesses took on such forms as birds and fish.”
So in my piece I am imagining the sown field as an egg rather than a literal field.
Ducks are important in the cosmology of many cultures. I shall quote here a piece about Slavic cosmology, as that is where many of the motifs in this piece originate from:
Oh well, to be honest, in terms of the big picture, this week properly sucked. However, there were some very sweet moments giving me the energy and will to keep working on Alan, which is great… Can‘t hide the fact that I’m just a teeny-tiny bit less excited about stitching, since I finished that sweet sweet lovely face, but, despite of being so challenging, the shirt is coming along just as well. When I get the feeling that my eyeballs are about to jump out of their sockets and roll around the room, I just switch to that solid black area on the right, and this gives me a bit of a break..
Whatever it was causing hives on my arms, it seems to be gone now. I do think those were some kind of bugs biting, and with this week being all so rainy they probably went away. It’s a juvenile explanation, but as long as my arms don’t get so freakin’ itchy, I’m going along with it.
I’ve been thinking whether I can finish this canvas around Alan’s Birthday, that would be nice, wouldn’t it? If I want to do that I have to order thread online, I can’t rely on the local shop, because most of the time they don’t have the colours I immediately need, so I shall look into this matter now… So, yeah, that’s how we’re going. X)
“Not awake twenty minutes and already drinking heavily. Times are getting bad once more. I am terrified of everything. I am terrified of getting ill, terrified of moving on in life, sleeping with women, settling down, getting old, getting fatter, getting thinner, becoming somebody, becoming nobody, talking, not talking.”