Over the last six months or so I have been working on new ideas for landscapes for the next EAST exhibition to be held in 2019. I have continued to take photographs over the winter while out walking with my sister - we have only missed two weeks when the weather was so wet that getting soaked didn't seem to be a good idea. We mainly stuck to our walk to Finchingfield as, having done it so often, we knew that if conditions were particularly muddy it is a distance we could manage comfortably. However, on the odd occasion we did do the circular route from Wickham St. Paul to Castle Hedingham on which we pass the barn in the photograph below. We had passed this barn several times before but this day was a very bright, crisp day and I particularly noticed the different shades of grey in the wood.
The colours seemed to mellow when I printed the barn onto cotton and I collaged it with some lovely scraps of fabric I had been saving. In addition to this, late last year I visited a salvage yard in Colchester, wasn't sure what I was looking for but I think I was looking for an alternative way to present a landscape and came away with three pieces of wood panelling. It was very distressed, paint flaking off, it had holes drilled in it and at some time I think it must have had wood worm. I took it home and it sat in the garage until March when I had taken the photograph of the barn.
My general idea is a grey winter landscape presented on the wood panelling - the shades of grey inspired by the barn which is made of wood, sections of the wood will show at the top and bottom of the piece.
Below I have been dying cotton scrim in varying shades of grey - I have been careful to label each piece with how I have achieved the colour, whether I have mixed it myself or used a ready available dye mix so that I can reproduce the particular shades of grey that I want to use.
Besides using the cotton scrim I have also been using silk organza and net. The pieces I have dyed in the photo above are the paler shades to be used for the distance but if I need them to be lighter I can lay net over the top. By doing this, if I tear the net, glimpses of the colour beneath peep through.
While I have been stitching this piece a poem that I discovered last year came to mind - Flocks of Words by Kate Innes which is about the words that describe a landscape, how they change for each season and imagining them flying away like birds, migrating in winter and returning in spring to dress the land like a newly laundered dress.