23Feb/130

Old As The Hills…New Piece

This is the final piece that I will get to do for about a week while I switch to learning more embroidery and then .....ta-dah....tie and dye.  And while Jaykirti cranks up the work to get the final push done to get things ready for the exhibition in Delhi.   How I start a new work is this:  I ask Jaykirti for some length and weight of fabric which is usually a medium weight cotton muslin (I think); then I or one of them pins it precisely to the table so it is stretched taut and all the wrinkles are out...this is one pin for every 3 to 4 inches around the sides-bottom and then top and then sides to get it precisely stretched.  Here's where having all those layers of jute really helps because you can just stick the pin in  and down into these layers with no trouble. Then I think for a moment about whatever has been going on and something starts to assemble....pieces come up out of my treasure trove under the table and then I look at the colors to select what will work with the pieces that seem to want to be used.  Here are some of the trays of colors I get to choose from.  In a way it's just like my paint stand at home where all the paints are held up in lines so I can see the colors easily and then the selection from how they strike me;  then I just ....GO! hoping that whatever is in there will show up...I used to worry what if nothing shows up....but I've long ago lost that thought.  Usually at home in my studio, I crank up the music so I can't hear myself thinking about what to do....the music seems to block the left brain off and just gives a rhythm to it all.  Here I listen to the Hindi songs on the radio and sometimes they sing along. After it's finished, it's hung over the wall of the block workshop to dry so I've enclosed a picture of that too.

So here's what showed up today...I think it's because there were all these articles in the newspaper about old rivalries in India/Pakistan and Africa where people have had fights over land and election results and a lot of people, just ordinary going-about-their-work people, get killed over and over.  It's like the stone age in terms of how to resolve conflict but each side is sure that they're right and sure that the other one started it.  I also have been reading Indian Mahabharata which shows again and again how brothers/cousins etc fight each other over land, promises, women, who's the best archer, etc.  Somehow it is so old, it seems old. One of the things that I like about these last pieces is that they exhibit what I've been trying to do which is merge the traditional and the modern.  Here the background gives the "order" or traditional feel of the setting (look at my improved block printing!!) and then the modern is displayed in front of it....playing out now against the past....the borders are also traditional and set the tone for the playing field...or in this case, fighting field.  And the hands add the personal visual vocabulary that I've been trying to add....a human comment....and this one has them all.  And now they seem to flow more easily without thinking about it....just doing it.  So I'm glad that I'm stopping for a week on this note

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