Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Above and Below

Above and Below - Terry Jarrard-Dimond
Muslin, Charcoal, Paint, Stitching

Life is always full of surprises.  Some we welcome and some we just as soon not have to face.  We often put value judgements on these experiences which is a natural thing to do but these judgements can influence our thinking and our feelings in ways we aren't aware.

I think the title of this piece is an example of skewed thinking.  As I created this piece I was focused on the marks made on the fabric as non-objective residue of the process.  I liked the liveliness of the marks and the way they fell in the scraps of fabric I had created by tearing the fabric before applying marks.  I started with the top left and right rectangle.  They've been floating around my studio this summer and I just kept looking at them knowing I wanted to incorporate them into something.

As things go, as I was sorting fabrics one day I laid them side by side on top of a the bottom fabric and liked the value contrast.  At that point I had not added the white shapes.  This was then pinned on my design wall and studied for a few days.  The center top element was added next.  My first intention was to make the piece almost square but as I toyed with the dimensions I decided to extend the bottom element and make the work more elongated.  I don't really recall at how I made the decision to add the white shapes and to screen them on rather than sew them but I did it quickly and very spontaneously and was pleased with the results.

detail - Above and Below

I wanted to preserve the ragged edges of the top but have "clean" edges on the bottom.  This required that I add batting and backing in a very different way from my usual process but that's another story.
So back to Above and Below.  When I look at the finished piece I see earth and sky and soil and seed.  The words above and below are really loaded words.  Above is often perceived as better.  Below is often perceived as lesser.  We live above ground.  We are often buried below ground.  But what else can be below?  Seeds!  The things of new beginnings.  The gifts of the future.  Water often flows underground and springs forth fresh and purified by the earth.  Good things can and do come from below as well as above.

***Be sure and check out The Thread Nest".  I've added new examples since last week.***

detail - Above and Below

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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Connie. It is challenging so I am pleased that you see the beauty.

  2. I like the way you are thinking!!! Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  3. I love the organic look of this piece. What are the dimensions?

    1. The piece is 33" H and 19" wide more or less. I've been enjoying working smaller. xo, T

  4. Hey Mary Helen. I know you are a kindred soul. Thank you. xo, T