Haddow Ezine

Resource: Poem: A Woman Knitting Herself into a Labyrinth, by Maureen Wilkinson

June 10th, 2011

The following poem by Maureen Wilkinson, I originally heard at the Falmouth Poetry Festival, it has lived with me through the years and I have often referred to it because it says so much and uses anologies that I too use in my work. Maureen paints too, although her work is very different to mine.

Thsi poem is having quite an influence on hoe my work is progressing currently along with all the other information I am curious about.

Hopefully it won’t be too long before some new images begin to appear.

Poetry by Maureen Wilkinson

A Woman Knitting Herself into a Labyrinth

This poem won 2nd Prize in the Southwest Open Poetry Competition and appeared in its anthology.  



I can’t remember if it started as a dream, or as a dream-like vision;
the idea of a woman knitting herself into a labyrinth.

She was sitting in a stone room between two arched windows.
Like me she had long, light coloured hair.
It was late summer. A landscape of hills and trees
threaded from one window to the other
with just the central section hidden
where the woman sat.

She was knitting on long wooden needles.
Six separate, coloured yarns were coiled
around the splayed fingers of her right hand.
The heavy fabric she had fashioned
draped her from breast to knee, and its pattern
was necessarily complex; for she was knitting
the map of her own labyrinth.

She kept her back to the view. The two arched windows
rose behind her like wings of light.

At first I thought of making a drawing of the woman knitting.
It was easy to outline the main components,
but all that I could remember of the knitted labyrinth
was its pattern of dark frames; and these containing,
coloured pictures, like a cartoon story.

Perhaps the knitting woman was compiling
a time mosaic; a selective calendar
of moments perceived with such unflinching clarity
that her world caught breath. She might have calculated
those lucid rooms in counted rows and stitches;
on a system of fractal numbers; each recounted
pattern resonating with the tedium and beauty
of endless repetition.

Or could she be performing the alchemical
miracle of literally knitting herself? for the yellowy yarn
was the self-same colour of her hair. If she could unravel
time caught up in sky and skin and stone,
undo the world, like a series of outgrown
garments, until all that remained were some skeins of frazzled colour

on the last shards of earth; yet if she constantly re-knitted
these elements into a single sheet of statements,
with her Ariadne’s thread
passing from knitted room to knitted room,
would this signify her death, or a kind
of woolly enlightenment?

And what if the yarns were strings of words instead of colours,
with language’s extra dimension, its trick of parallel silences.

Then she might string six statements of herself around her fingers;
six tender or contentious factions; six monologues, competing
for the same voice, and the same moment.

Then the knitted labyrinth would be like an airport terminal’s
board of possibilities,
with blanks and letters spinning,
and just a switch, a stitch, a purl instead of plain,
changing the destination.

I wish I could dream of the knitted labyrinth again,
for I am a woman who is writing herself into a labyrinth.
I have two clues to the conundrum; the initial
vision, which is unchanging,
and the title, which contains so many permutations,
that I may be lost inside its corridors forever.

Resources: Books and Web

May 26th, 2011

It has been a while since I updated this, but have been busy being creative and focussing on finalising work for AA2A.

It hasn’t stoppped the research which continues apace….

Most recent is to give you the web adress that I found after listening to a radio article on BBCR4 about list and inventories www.cam.ac.uk/research/features/300-years-of-list-making/

This is because my work continues to develop within the ideas around relic but has evolved into remains and evidence, not in a morbid way, but about memory and remanants of a life and what this actually means.

Further reading has included

‘Understanding Cultural geography’.  Jon Anderson

‘Alone of All Her Sex’ The myth and Cult of the Virgin Mary.  Marina Warner

‘Civilizing Rituals, inside public art museums. Carol Duncan

‘The Spiritual an Arts and Crafts’ Nigel Pennick

‘The Dead’ Ex Cat National Museum of Photography, Bradford


April 12th, 2011

Had this e-mail ….go have a look!

I’ve just added your zine to the zineopolis online reference catalogue here:

Thanks and best wishes,

Resorces: More Books

April 2nd, 2011

Next lot of books towards AA2A exhibition – still don’t know when this is…..

The Culture of Death: Benjamen Noys

Vigor Mortis; The End of the Death Taboo:  Kate Berridge

Death, Memory and Material Culture: Elizabeth Hallam and Jenny Hockey

Ritual and Remembrance: Responses to Death in Human Societies:  no record of the author, sorry

This book list gives the idea of where I am going with end/death and memory but is ultimately about relic.

Resource: Women’s Library

March 9th, 2011

I studied at what is now London Metropolitan University, when I graduated in 1991 it was City of London Polytechnic. The place I used alot was the then Fawcett Library, but is now the Women’s Library, have a look at www.londonmet.ac.uk/thewomenslibrary or just google the Women’s Library. If you are in London, then pop along….

Resources: Books

March 2nd, 2011

The first of the books mentioned below is fantastic, the best.

Hildur Bjarnadottir, her work is fabulous and her principals and philosophies are much in line with my own thinking, so must make contact with her. www.hildur.net

Work has moved on, and I am now thinking specifically for the AA2A exhibition in a few months time. Have planned the body of work, now just to get it done, and not get in the way of the third years as they run up for their finals.

Dr Jayne has just completed a weeks glass course and learnt all the things you need to know, I feel I am still learning, and this would have been helpful ealy on, but this isn’t what the scheme is about. Learning new skills is great but the basics need to be given in a structured way especially when there is so little time. From the basics, experimenting can been given free reign. The books below have helped.

Have to get to grips with digital stuff now to prepare the pieces for the show. Waiting to hear when he exhibition for the AA2A is.

Have four pieces in the annual Cancer Research Exhibition in Liskeard, go along and buy one!

The books:

Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting: David Revere McFadden

Paper Metal Stitch: Magie Grey and Jane Wild

Three Dimensional Embroidery: Janet Edmonds

Clearly Inspired, Contemporary Glass and its Origins: Chambers and Oldknow

Techniques of Kiln Formed Glass: Keith Cummings

Embroidery for the Church: Pat Beese

Resources: Derrida & Pharmakon

December 12th, 2010

A while ago I was recommended to look at Derrida, several people including the person who reccomended him said he was difficlt to grasp, but the book ‘ An introduction to Derrida’ ( Derrida for Beginners)  by Jeff Collins is really great and explains quite simply about the ‘undecidable’  and the’ pharmakon’.  This is a really useful tool in explaining some of the new ideas and innovations that are happening that sit between things, or rather, explanation.

In fairness I haven’t finished reading it so this is just a cursory understanding, at this time.


November 22nd, 2010

Anyone heard or know of Shelterbox? It is a fantastic organisation so have a look at www.shelterbox.org 

So appreciating what I have, I have donated a painting to an auction in January, do hope that it makes a reasonable amount of money for Shelterbox. The auction is being held at Lays of Penzance www.davidlay.co.uk

The donated painting is still up in the canvas gallery. The one with 30 circles/spots….

Resources: Art & Spirituality

November 3rd, 2010

There is a local group looking at Art & Spirituality, it met yesterday and the discuassion was really intersting, but didn’t last long enough.

It was particularly interesting as it felt as if we were all linked, each subject worked in with the next and took on a sort of ‘primordial beat or energy’. Does art/creativity derive from necessity or is it compelled?

The group covered, water, pebble/memory, dye/die, nature/energy, tree of life, flower of life, knitting socks……..

Students from a variety of courses, fine art, art & environment, ex graduates.

Resources: Brittany

October 29th, 2010

Back in Brittany again, saw some of the same places, and some new, many photos for reference.