This piece is a good example of how interesting it can be to allow oneself to work intuitively: I really had no idea where this was going when I started. I worked with these shapes, free-cutting the cloth into what turned out to resemble topographical contours.
The more I looked at the piece as it took form the more I felt it looked like a desert landscape. Halfway into it I realized I was thinking a great deal about my late sister Priscilla, who passed away in March of 2001. Interestingly (and I doubt this was a coincidence) I began working on this on the anniversary of her death. These anniversaries have a way of bringing forth memories; I've learned to honor them.
My sister lived for many years in New Mexico and developed a deep love for the culture and landscape, especially the indigenous peoples of the area. She immersed herself in the history of the area, particularly the ruins of Chaco Canyon.
When I look at images of the ruins of this place in the high desert I wonder how it became the center of such a thriving culture: it had a long winter, short growing season, and scant rainfall.
I am captivated by the juxtaposition of the man-made contours of the ruin to the vast emptiness of the landscape.
My sister chose to have part of her ashes scattered in this beautiful place so it has taken on an honored place in my heart.
To finish, I elected to use a facing method for the edges. I will later stretch this piece onto a frame, and this facing technique works well in conjunction with that and gives the piece a very nice finished edge. Using white background is highly unusual for me, but somehow it works in this piece.
Once the facing was stitched I clipped the corners and turned the facing. I had previously fused the facing pieces, so they will adhere nicely to the back of the construction.
I admit that I have not decided which way I prefer to have the piece oriented.
What do you think?
Here are a few details.
Thanks for reading about my journey making this piece.