Hello, dear Haddow.
I am writing to thank you for your beautiful Breton card. It is (honestly) staggeringly beautiful. The design is clean and light, yet reminiscent of old, religious, ornate. The colours are just so sympathetic with what seems to be going on in our house – my mother’s icon, the old, golden, unthrowawayable curtains in the sitting room, my kitchen dresser. I just feel as if you came here and drank us in and responded with a deep empathy. Either that, or what you are doing these days is resonant with what I happen to be drawn to – as ever.
I saw your website and am well-impressed! First, I think your dolls are so funny and yet kind of scary – like a cross between (forgotten her name!) that French artist who had an exhibition at the Tate modern about five years ago – makes body parts and is very Freudian – and voodoo dolls – (with a smattering of Beryl Cook perhaps) but forgive me my limited knowledge and vocabulary. I don’t have much to draw on making comparisons.
I think your icons are intriguing – the strong, geometric pattern and modern looking materials sit alongside, encompass or reframe the old, anonymous stitchwork as though you were shining strong light on something small, dusty and embarrassed that suddenly transforms into something glorious and intelligent. Your series of Hydrangea brooches are similar. Hydrangeas are really interesting, aren’t they? From places like theHimalayas, they end up in the most boring, unimaginative settings in English front gardens for example, or seaside fronts. Yet they are devastatingly beautiful, aren’t they? The way they change colour and What gorgeous, subtle colours they become ! But at certain stages, they’re like comical pom-poms – silly and too all one shade . What you’re doing with them enables me to look at them again and see them as modern, geometric, mathematical designs. Their organic qualities (for example, the way each petal varies in tone and hue) feel celebrated, yet you seem to see them as beyond decay, ideal. I could honestly get really obsessive about them and also about what you say you are interested in – the metaphor of the stitch. I have a treasured old book on hand embroidery and keep promising myself that I will play embroidery one day. But of course it would take years! I would like to make a ‘blackwork’ pictorial map of Brigham- a long strip of cream linen with probably nothing but black stitches on it to represent the houses, roads and trees, walls, quarries. But I would also like to lift the piece out of being naïve. Any ideas?
I’ve got loads on today, and I thought I really wouldn’t have the time to express my excitement at what you’re doing – but when there is a pressure inside of excitement and gratitude, expression needs no thought –just opening and spilling. What a privilege.
Seen any Larch needles yet? They colour is amazing!
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