As well as the larger series, which will be quilts, I’ll be working on some smaller pieces, which will be cloths – that is, not quilted. Just bits of cloth and stitch on a cloth ground. Something very honest and simple, intuitively pieced and stitched.

I’m calling these small pieces ‘Reflections’. I’m thinking of them as little self portraits. Myself as cloth and stitch. No figurative or pictorial referencing, just a feel of who and where I am, in line, colour and texture. Just to see what I find.

It is impossible to see yourself in the same way that you can see others, in the flesh as a  living and breathing being. The only way you can see yourself alive in the present is by looking in a mirror or other reflective surface. And then you are not seeing yourself, but a two-dimensional reflection of yourself. The person in the mirror isn’t real. You can see yourself in photographs or video, but these are always historic. They are images of you in the past, even if the picture was taken a few seconds ago. This idea really interests me, and I’m looking forward to working on both these series. ‘Time and Space’ will be more expansive, more outward-looking; ‘Reflections’ more introspective.

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14 Responses to Reflections

  1. Bea says:

    This sounds fascinating. I’m looking forward to seeing both series develop

  2. contemporaryembroidery says:

    piecing by intuition…..I like how you have clarified it in that way…

  3. Penny says:

    I love these thoughts! I think I’ll be ‘looking’ at myself in a different way from now on *smile*. Even at my advanced age I’m still learning things about me that have been there all this time but hadn’t surfaced before. Its a beautiful wonder that we can keep discovering ourselves no matter how many physical years we are in this space.

  4. It will certainly be interesting to see what you find – sometimes we find our work says something or reveals something we weren’t explicitly aware of…

  5. Loralei says:

    This is a fantasic idea.. A tactile and kin esthetic exploration of self.. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with, especially since these days I am buried in a host of external commitments! One day, I will come up for some air, and my cloth will be waiting…

  6. A way of letting your beautiful (and I know this now, since I own some!) fabrics speak. 😮

  7. serenapotter says:

    technically even the mirror image is an image in the past due to the time it takes for the light to be reflected and processed by your brain…we truly can never see ourselves…..which is really quite fitting for most of life 🙂

  8. helen salo says:

    Ditto to what Bea said.

  9. Janice says:

    This is a lovely project, Karen. Fascinating idea to create a series of self portraits that focus not at all on how you look, but on who you are, what you’re feeling, where you are in your journey.

  10. julochka says:

    oh, i’ve thought a lot about that question of how we’re actually unable to really see ourselves. i think sometimes it’s what gives me the feeling that i don’t look like who i am. very interesting to explore the notion in stitches.

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