Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pas de Deux - Under Construction

I mentioned last week a bit about my approach to my individual works in the Pas de Deux exhibition.  I was keen to not only have a Pas de Deux within our collaborative books; but also between the collaborative books and my own work; and within my own work.

That possibly makes for a pas de six or some such; but it has been the thread that holds my otherwise possibly disparate work together.

A further example of the threads connecting between and within the works is the series called Under Construction.

You may recall that Susan and I gave each other the theme "birds, feathers, nests and eggs" for one of our collaborative books. Susan created the beautiful Tidings of Magpies, and I made the quiet, soft and subtle Nurture.

I really, really enjoyed the imagery of nests and building and wanted to create further work along that theme.  So I made the Under Construction pieces - all of which refer to the precious work of building nests.


I spent some time writing the words, capturing my own thoughts about what was happening when a nest was built, the time it took, the care and the patience.  I wanted to say gently and quietly how much I admire wee birds and their intricate weaving of hopes and dreams; how they create such delicate yet robust masterpieces of shelter and protection.

Here are a couple of them:

gleaning downy threads
patient weaving of new dreams
time and twigs entwined

spiriting away
discarded tactile fragments
home is built anew

mindful selection
ephemeral yet robust
waiting and protecting

I used solar etching to capture nest and feather imagery, and used multiple plates to print - always interesting when one moves with the weight of the roller! Still, I did manage to create five wall pieces and five books.  

Again, I wanted my wall pieces to be linked to books; and my books to have a wall connection as well - another pas de deux.

Here are some of the framed wall pieces. I am so fortunate that my local framers handle my tricky works so well! Phil of Holden's Framing always knows multiple tricks and just the right frame depth etc etc to hold all my fragile bits together beautifully.

Under Construction IV 
Photographer Penny Riddoch

Under Construction V
Photographer Penny Riddoch

Under Construction III
Photographer Penny Riddoch
And a few of the books.

These books stand about 40cm high and about 45cm wide when opened.

Under Construction 2
Photographer Penny Riddoch
Under Construction 4
Photographer Penny Riddoch
But I have also designed them so that they can lie down along a shelf or desk and be read from above.

Under Construction 3
Photographer Penny Riddoch

The books are all bound in a beautiful book cloth, and each cover has an inset with a feather hand stitched on vellum. They are tied together with a Habu thread; and are housed in a Perspex slip case.


I don't know that I would have ever explored the birds and nests without having made the collaborative book along that theme; or without having learnt how to do solar plate etching during the making of White Ribbon Day...so the collaboration has really sent my work in new directions.

13 comments:

  1. Beautiful, Fiona. And, its such a blessing to trust one's framer! I have a place I feel some loyalty to, however, they aren't always detail oriented - I think framers MUST be, so I struggle a bit with my loyalty issue!

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    1. Thank you Valerianna. And yes, trusting a framer is so important - but I totally get the struggle to keep things local, and yet feel like you are honouring your work! I am fortunate that Phil at Holden's 'gets' my work and knows how I like things...gowell.

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  2. I really do wish I could actually see these, photos are OK but it's not the same as actually seeing them. Love what you are doing.

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    1. Penny I have to agree - they are most special in reality - seeing all the textures and details is soooooo much better than a photo. Sorry you can't be here for the show! Go well.

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  3. Fiona, these works are just to die for, l do love anything to do with nature, so it all appeals to me, l do hope you are going to keep at least one of these pieces for yourself, when l really love something l've made, l find it very hard to part with it straight away, thanks for always sharing your beautiful art works with us,

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    1. Thanks so much Kate - your joy in them is felt up here! I may end up keeping all of them if none of them sell, but I just offer them up to the universe and hope that they find a home with a person who loves them...if not, they get to stay with me!

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  4. these are exquisite Fiona, your sense of detail and space is stunning

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    1. Thank you Mo - that means a lot coming from you with your exquisite sense of detail and design...go well.

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  5. Hard to put into words, Fiona, how absolutely beautiful these works are. This will be a very special exhibition, I do wish I could see it in person. Go well...

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    1. I am so glad you like them Carol! They are very nature based and in touch with those little birds. We are edging closer to the opening and I will be glad when we are beyond it! Go well.

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  6. Hello, Fiona ~ I have been waiting for a moment when I could savor this incredible series of books & wall pieces - well worth the wait! I love the collection of imagery & how you've assembled it all, as well as the beautiful, gentle words that tie everything together. Bravissima! Lucky those who will see them in person...

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I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.