Self portrait 3

Struggling with this. I was looking forward to it but now I can’t seem to get anything that looks evocative or interesting.

Digitally planned this:

Idea here was a resilient core with the fragmented image drifting a bit but remaining tether to the core. Core is slightly to the right as it continues to move forward. selfportrait3.jpgselfportrait3

but the execution is much more difficult. I have printed out a few of these on thin fabric and you can’t see through it and they just sit on top looking blah….

I was thinking of this as a collage but as soon as I start this I realise I don’t like the raw edges and the saggy fabric. There is something about the quilt format that I gravitate to. I’m not a textile artist relishing drape of fabric. I am interested in evoking mood with juxtaposition of colour and line. I think before Thursday I will cut these up and rejoin using a simple block of some sort. Maybe a log cabin type around the core? Centre assymetrical? Looking at the work of Thomas Knauer and realised that I am perhaps straying too far from my quilting roots and perhaps that’s why it’s not appealing to me so much. I enjoy doing pieced quilts and the idea was always to print fabric to use in quilts. I have moved a long way from that and maybe I need to move back.

Thomas Knauer       Viewed 27 August 2020

Now I have roughly pieced some of the squares after cutting them and giving them a hard edge. I was thinking of the grid as containing fragments but there is lots wrong with this. The colour of the grid is dominant and not allowing the imagery to be seen. It’s also too wide and the idea of a resilient core is lost in the cutting up of the “core”. The fabric is too thin and doesn’t hold the imagery well. There was pleasure in the sewing though.


Moving on I have now composed something more in the pattern of a pieced quilt.

Multiple photograms done directly in the darkroom

photograms face.jpg

selfport3mock2 copy

I am planning to use dyed cotton sateen to get the grey which will be pieced between the images. The grey grid should stand proud as I will fold both edges in to that and then sew the image down flat a bit recessed. The single grey square will be pieced in but will still show because it will be bordered as the rest of them are.


I forgot to invert in the image above. I like the way the face looks more like shadow when I do.

My background is green instead of grey. I can try again or maybe I will think about painting neutral sashings in grey. A light wash of acrylic will stiffen and make the grid appear more rigid. I’m wondering about painting after sewing. It shouldn’t bleed once it is sewn in place. The sewing will define. Excited to try this.

Feedback from Group:

Seemed to clarify in my mind that the repetition could be thought of as sticking with it, keeping on, in the context of resilience. The grid is enduring and underpinning the softer faces. Ambiguity around the face being a face. Anyway seemed ok and I think I will now move it forward to completion. No mention of it being a quilt. Yvette did suggest maybe there could be another layer over the top but I’m not sure what that would look like. I’m going to change to silk/wool with visible weave now for my grey because I can at least get the colour I want that way. Green will be put aside for another project. The silk wool won’t have the smoothness but it will have a different strong twill like texture that also resonates with metal grid.

Later I thought about how Yvette had asked me if the number of repetitions meant anything. I hadn’t thought other than laying out a portrait shape compositions with an odd number. Now I’m thinking I could add an extra layer by making it mean something.

28 years I’ve had this stress so 28 it will be. That will be for rows of seven but the missing grey square will mean that there will be a bottom row of only one. I hope that suggests that this continues on.


I won’t have that block of grey to the right of the last image but couldn’t work out in photoshop how to crop odd shapes. Yet. Maybe I’ll try again later.








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