This Egypt themed work has never been ‘lost’ because I bump into it every now and then. I don’t remember giving it any name, it isn’t listed in my catalogue but I will rectify that, I’ve never shown it, nor did it lead on to a new body of work that I thought at the time it would; though I knew I didn’t want to make a set of ‘Egypt’ quilts. I think it is an expression of awe I felt the whole time we were visiting a place that had fascinated me since I was a young child, and having put that into fabric, I left it.
We visited the country about ten years ago, before the Arab Spring upheavals, and of course layers and layers of human activity and history confront at every turn, carved and painted onto thousands of mural walls, monument bases, stelae and temple columns, and used to decorate all manner of objects both useful and not so useful for sale to the throngs of tourists who have not yet gone back to the pre-revolutionary numbers. I’m certain this layers of history thing prompted my choice to use nylon organza to give a blurry sense of the passage of distant times – check the left side of the photo below. Some pyramids, the sphinx and Tutankhamun’s iconic headdress are lurex fabrics cut to shape with marker pen details added.
Recently someone asked what fellow artists recommended for stabilising some kind of organiza for free machine quilting. My sheer Egypt piece came to mind, and I recommended that maintain the sheer quality and avoid slippage between the layers, that she might hand baste and then freely quilt/embroider without either foot or hoop. It’s a decade since I made this work, and so I think that’s how I handled it! but it’s hard to tell from the photo or the actual (crumpled) work pulled from the cupboard. As I often do, I found it a bit wondrous to see something I’ve not paid any real attention to for ages. There’s a lot about this work I really like.
My regular readers know I’ve recently been thinking about influences from landscape in my work, the tracks left by Man, and natural patterns of all kinds in landscape. Here’s a great pic, taken in the Black Desert SSW of Cairo, showing a network of tracks in the ancient desert landscape.