Friday, July 10, 2015

The Fallen Stars

If you visit Gallery A3 in Amherst, Massachusetts, this month you can see one of my abstract embroidery pieces in a group show there. Wrinkle Embroidery VIII (The Fallen Stars) is one of 55 works chosen for the exhibit by John Stomberg, director of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum.

Sennott_The Fallen Stars_600
Bonnie Sennott, Wrinkle Embroidery VIII (The Fallen Stars), 2015, perle cotton on linen, 
14 x 14 inches

There's a reception for the artists tomorrow (Saturday, July 11) from 4 to 7 pm. I'll be there early on, during the first hour or so. Come say hi!

Wrinkle Embroidery in progress

As with my other wrinkle embroidery pieces, I began this one by purposely wrinkling the linen, then tracing the wrinkles with back stitch or running stitch. I work out the compositions of my wrinkle embroidery pieces as I go, with a process that's a mix of chance (how the fabric wrinkles) and choice (which wrinkles I choose to stitch). I rarely rip out, as it stresses the fabric. So the process is a lot like drawing with pen and ink—no erasing, no going back.

Today's daily stitching: white running stitch #dailyembroidery #embroidery

I started this one about a year ago, worked on it intensely for a while, then left it alone as I pondered what should come next. When I began adding in the brightly colored satin stitch, the piece took on a joyful tone.

Bright colors for a bright new year. Happy 2015, everyone! #embroidery #dailypractice #dailyembroidery #bonniesennott

But as I worked, this piece was always linked in my mind to last summer, because when I first began it Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 had just been shot down over the fields of Ukraine. So many innocent people killed. Such a terrible, unspeakable tragedy. 

The bright colors I used for the satin stitch were the joyful colors of summer, the colors of zinnias. But joy and beauty is only part of the story. I decided I wanted this piece to be more truthful. Eventually, I turned it upside down, so the "stars" fell. Later I introduced a wedge of black French knots, as a visual disruption that pierces the brightness.

Wrinkle embroidery in progress

Because that's how we are as a species, aren't we? Capable of great joy, and of acting with selflessness and kindness and love. But we're also capable of shooting children and their stuffed animals out of the sky on a sunny summer day.

Wrinkle Embroidery VIII_detail

If you're in western Massachusetts, I hope you can make it to the reception tomorrow or stop by another time. The show continues through August 1; the gallery is located in the Amherst Cinema Building in downtown Amherst (you can't miss it) and hours are 1–7 pm, Thursday–Sunday.

Thank you very much for reading!

1 comment:

Tracey ~ Clover said...

You are a woman of many talents. Your needle work is stunning and if I weren't way down here in SC I would love to stop by and say Hello!
Have fun.