Sunday, December 28, 2008
(Click on image to enlarge. Rabbi. Decision Portrait Series. Xylene transfer on tea-stained muslin. Hand embroidery: Blackwork and couching. Stitched words: Waiting for the Messiah.)
Something rather serendipitous seemed to be in the air this holiday season. Without any conscious effort to coordinate the next two pieces in my Decision Portrait Series, I ended up taking the photos for Rabbi and Priest within two days of one another. The initial transfer for the priest was less than perfect, so I started stitching on the rabbi....right before Christmas. It seemed so fitting....waiting for the Messiah.
The stitched words for the priest will be "Called to Serve". While designing my own "Star of David" inspired Blackwork pattern (Don't faint....I can actually manage counted thread embroidery when absolutely necessary!), it occurred to me that both these men were "called to serve" and both these men are "waiting for the Messiah"....whether for a first or second visit doesn't matter.
Thus, I spent much of the holiday week thinking about our global cultural, religious, and historic similarities. It was a wonderful way to stitch and celebrate. I am thrilled with this piece....especially the Blackwork. There's a good chance that my desire to adorn the background in this manner is the result of blended cultural arts too. I recently read Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book. My mom and dad practically insisted that I read it, and they were right. I LOVED IT! The fictional plot focused on the real 14th c. Sarajevo Hagaddah. My mind danced with all the beautiful Moorish patterns that many illuminated manuscripts from the Middle East include. I knew I wanted something that reminded me of these books.
During the year I've tried not to fill my personal blog with too much CYBER FYBER information...but each day now brings me closer to the actual exhibition. Most of my time is spent in preparation for the installation, creating new press releases, etc. One of the things that inevitably happens with the postal system is that some mail gets lost! I had to write to a few participants to say I'd never received their trades. I promised "something" in return.....but had no idea what! Well, it's going to be Christmas ornaments. I made another "batch"!
I've also received an email or two asking about the CYBER FYBER postcard and ATC voting. The question is: Can I vote for more than one? YES! By all means! Vote away! The People's Choice Award is really just for fun.....Vote! The on-line exhibition is here for postcards and here for ATCs. Most of the artwork from the Invitational Artists has arrived. For the next day or two I'll be photographing it and uploading it too! There's still time for anyone to participate in the International Random ATC Swap too! Every day more ATCs arrive for this.
So....what else has been happening here in Columbia? Well, my elder son Mathias is home for just over a week from Birmingham, England where he dances for Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB). He's been busy contrast and color correcting all the photos he took last January while the company toured Japan! Okay....he's a little slow on getting this done....but....I have Photoshop on my computer. So....soon there will be photos on My Family Blog from this trip! Better late than never! I think one of the reasons this task is finally getting done is the fact that BRB is touring China this January! Mathias needed his camera's chip cleared for the new images!
Posted by Susan Lenz at 12:27 PM