Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Heads Up

I went into the Daintree to be inspired. I thought I would be inspired to write poetry about the rainforest and come out ready to use paper and ink to make book art telling forest stories. But the thing about inspiration is that it always doesn't comply with expectations.

Although I did write some poems, living in an environment so unfriendly to paper and books forced me to try other media. You've seen the crocheted coral. But I never told you about the embroidery which I started not long after my first disappointing effort at book making in the rainforest.

I had been given a nice linen dress with a stain on it that I decided to cover up by stitching an image of one of many pieces of bleached and broken coral to be found on the beach. Both process and outcome proved to be so pleasing to me that I decided to carry on embroidering bleached coral designs in a band around the whole hem of the dress.

It took me about four months to finish it, not counting the months I put the embroidery aside to crochet coral instead. I'm not sure why I never blogged about it while I was doing it. Partly because I never managed to get any good photos until this week. Partly because I was/am embarrassed about the dress with its stains, my amateur embroidery (I was just making up the stitches as I copied the patterns from dead coral) and the incredible amount of time it took to finish. Also it's not a book. There is no ink, no text, no paper.

As well as being embarrassed, I am also quietly pleased with it. Pleased with my increasingly adept stitching, pleased with the combination of subtle colours and rich textures, pleased with discovering a new medium to be passionate about. And passionate I am. Try as I might to get excited about being able to print again, about expressing my rainforest experience in book form, actually all my good ideas lately are for thread and yarn, not paper and ink.

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