Wednesday, 1 February 2012

from the horizontal kingdom


Yesterday I went up to Tamworth for more examination of my injured ankle. Many thanks Mandy A for the ride and interesting chat on the way up! Also wonderful to have a loan of the wheelchair from you. So much easier for me to get around the house than on the crutches and makes it possible for me to transport items to the horizontal kingdom.

I'll be going back next week to get the leg plastered for another 6 weeks. Its too swollen at the moment for the all over cast.
Tribute to Frida, 2010
Heres a picture I made of another famous invalid artist, the extraordinary Mexican woman Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) My work pictured above measures 45x60cm and is based on an actual photo of her from 1940 (original photographer Leo Matiz) The face, arm and pose are taken from the photo but I did a textile "interpretation" of her gown. Frida was meticulous about her clothing choices and personal style. She was a great admirer of indigenous traditional Tehuana indian clothing and throughout her life she collected and wore gorgeous outfits hand embroidered and made by indian women from all over Mexico. She usually wore these with the appropriate traditional style jewellery of chunky beads of coral or semiprecious stones and silver. In numerous of her paintings she depicted herself wearing these lavish garments decades before "hippie" women of the 60s popularised the wearing of ethnic clothing styles.

When Kahlo died in 1954 her husband Diego Rivera had her personal rooms sealed in her house for 50 years. They were opened by a team of art historians and conservators in 2004. I have a marvellous book which was subsequently published based on what was found and preserved. The book is "Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: Frida's Wardrobe" published by the Museo Frida Kahlo. Another interesting footnote to Kahlos life is how she left the copyright to her artworks to "all Mexican women".

I really love this quote from Honore de Balzac in the front of the book -

                                            One's wardrobe reveals one's politics;
                                                              it is the story one lives by;
                                                                  it is one's symbolic self.


It really resonates for me why the art medium I'm passionate to express myself with is fibre and textile.

Perhaps it is all this time being spent physically, literally flat which is making me yearn to uplifting thoughts! I want to fly with Plumage again....! However, best to leave it a few days yet for my arms to get stronger using the crutches till I try to get down the back yard to the studio.

my work table in bed

Today I've kept occupied getting some bead resources into bed next to me. I made this strung bracelet from some favourite beads, a lot collected from my trips to the USA. In the bracelet there is - an alloy metal face plus beads bought in New York in 2008 which are - 2 beads purportedly from Tibet, a flat chinese red lacquer, red coral bead and a brass square. Other beads are a vintage African trade bead (salvaged from a necklace bought in a thrift shop) a flat amethyst oval, 2 chrysopatite semi precious gems and a beaded bead I made this morning. Will go into the gallery tomorrow for sale at $90



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If you are interested in buying an artwork or booking a commission, please email me at pearl@upstairs-art.com.au