Tuesday, 4 November 2014

'Where do I go from here?'

The desert piece I showed the other day is complete.
I am taking part in a new group that is taking the opportunity to work A4 size to have a play or to try things out. The first challenge was Off to the Races. So that is when I did the Tour de Yorkshire piece.

I had decided to make only work that would help me take my own ideas further. So, I was a bit nonplussed to learn that the next challenge was Elvis Presley songs.

Not that I have anything in particular against them or him; but I have no plans for having a random Elvis Presley piece of work mouldering in the cupboard for the rest of my life. So, I decided to have a look at lists of songs associated with him.

At the same time, I have been more and more distressed at unimaginable numbers of people who have become refugees in recent times. So, in a list of songs Elvis recorded I found a few song titles that might work as words in their own right.

This is the result.

Where do I go from here? The refrain of the refugee.

I have been so moved by the numbers of people who are having to flee from one place to another. Especially throughout this year; and not just the Middle East situations. So, I read through the titles of songs Elvis recorded and discovered he recorded 'Where Do I Go From Here?'. I disregarded the song and used the words as inspiration. It didn't take long to think about depicting some of the mothers and children who have had to flee.

All lost their homes and for many even rescued belongings were taken. Some lost children on the way. Some birthed children along the way. Some lost husbands and fathers, dead at the hands of oppressors. Some lost a part of their own being because of what they were forced to do. And yet, they have to carry on for the ones who are left.

And now they have lost the privilege of making their own decisions. How long can they stay in camps? How will they survive the winter? Where will they go from here?


I have used rust dyed British muslin for the endless desert. And black cotton fused and thread sketched for the silhouettes of the figures in the heat of the noonday sun.

In making this work, I have worked out some technique issues which will be useful to know in the future. And in the past week or so, there has been a new call for entry from SAQA for next autumn called Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora. So it seems this is timely. It will be a good start for working through some of the other ideas on this theme I have churning in my mind. Hopefully ready for making work to submit to that exhibition.

If you want to see the other work made for the Elvis song challenge , you can go to the A4 Challenge Play Group.

Update: A sharper image, but the colour is warmer like above.

1 comment:

irene macwilliam said...

a really good choice of your rusted fabric for this piece