Saturday, January 15, 2011

my first island

After reading and researching and looking for the last two weeks, I finally dove in and started working through my ideas in a tangible way. Earlier this week, I was feeling a bit paralyzed by the prospect of making a concrete decision about where I wanted this project to take me. Bouncing different unformed ideas around in my head until I was feeling more apprehensive about how I wanted to approach the geology, geography, shorelines, and sea level rise in my work.

By Thursday, I realized I had to start making something - reading and researching was becoming a procrastination method. It didn't have to be big, in fact it was probably a better (and less intimidating) if I started small and thought of this first piece like a maquette: a way to work through the construction and details and hone my process.

And what I want to make is islands. Little islands, bigger islands, some islands based on real islands, some composites from my imagination and research. And if I want to make islands, I have to figure out how I want to make them. So, here is my first, pretty simple and round, only about 10'" wide. The embroidery has absorbed my last day or two because I made the island all out of yellow canvas to begin with and I really want to emphasize the differences between the cliffs and the green space for my own understanding of this project.

What I really want to do next is weave the cloth for each geographical area and then construct the island, having a lot of the texture and colour already inherent in the cloth and embellishing a minimum amount. I've already learned so much through the simple act of making this....


  1. You've inspired me again Rilla! I just have to "start". I've been thinking about making an abacus. I'll "start" the beads today. Thanks!
    I can see your sea of islands on the floor, or suspended at the Confed Centre Gallery. Magical!