Sunday, 10 November 2013

Body of Work

I had to produce a Body of Work for my course and as I have not done any tapestry since the  large tapestry for last year, I decided to play around with Shifu books as I already had one book completed which, I am pleased to say, was accepted in the Books...beyond words exhibition at Bairnsdale earlier this year.

So, here it is.

Shifu Books

Artist Statement
This body of work brings together two of my passions - books and all they entail, words, stories and paper; and weaving in the form of Shifu. I am influenced by the Roman rhetorician Quintillian, who taught that after we have chosen our words, we must weave them into a fabric until we have a fine and delicate texture.
Shifu is a traditional Japanese technique of turning paper into cloth which originated in the 16th c.  Legend has it that a spy had to cross enemy lines to deliver an important message and to avoid being caught he cut the message into strips, twisted it into fibres and wove it into cloth and clothing so he passed through unnoticed.  On arriving at his destination, the fabric was unravelled and the message delivered.  Realistically, rural peasants and farmers were the first to make cloth from paper and they often used old account books because the paper was strong and the characters on the page made interesting speckled patterns.
To make the Shifu, I use Nepalese paper called Lokta and the process is described on my previous blog and an earlier on called Shifu, Weaving Paper.   I like the idea that the text is present in the page but no longer decipherable.  Hopefully, it allows the reader to imagine their own story, cued by  the title.

I have made 4 books - In Conversation, Shifu, a short history, Sonnets, lines by E B Browning and Between the Lines. Three of the books measure 8 x 10 cm and one, the history is 10 cm square.

 In Conversation  was the one I submitted to the Books...beyond words; Revolution.  My revolution was that the words were in the page not on it

I used red and purple inks to denote the different speakers.

Shifu, a short history.  The cover of this is made from shifu and the small piece added with the eucalyptus flower was an experiment.

The writing is like weaving.

Sonnets; Lines from E B Browning.  I love her book called Sonnets from the Portuguese.

The binding is plaited Shifu.

The text makes interest patterns.

 And the last is  Between the lines because I wove plain pages and stitched them for you to write your own story.

Some of the stitching

I have amused myself imensely playing with these trifles.

Small things amuse ... me!!!!!!!!!!!!


Misha said...

The textures you get with this stuff look realy tactile and grainy - and also I like the colour subtlety. Nice going, Glennis.

Mary said...

They look great Glennis. I think that I like the coloured pages best (what did you write with to get such deep and wide colour?) and then I think that I like the plainer one, then I think,no, I like the stitched one. I would love to see them in actuality. Being textiles, they also make me want to touch them.

Glennis said...

Nice to hear from you Misha and thank you. I imagine you are as flat out as I am trying to get work finished. I wonder if they would make interesting tapestries.

Glennis said...

Thank you Mary. I wrote on the pages with ink, black, red and purple with a calligraphy pen and a wide nib. I wrote like weaving so there were lots of words. I like the stitched pages too; you could go crazy doing that - so many options.

Michelle said...

Beautiful work, Glennis! And congratulations for getting one into an exhibition!!

Do you have to physically send them to TAFE as part of the assignment?

Glennis said...

Thank you Michelle; I was pleased to get into the exhibition. I haven't sent the books to SWTAFE; we had 3 options to display them and I chose my blog. One assignment to go!!!!!!!!!!!!