My Favourite Stitched Square Motif, 3

Square grids and squares themselves represent order and calm, predictability. So the disrupted pattern in each of these ~30cm grid studies reflects my concern at the current state of the world. Since the invasion of Ukraine 18 months ago, we’ve heard much about the “Rules Based Order” concept that motivated and underpinned the world’s recovery following World War II. I myself think the notion of ‘world peace’ is a bit of a myth, as realistically speaking, I doubt there’s ever been a time of absolute peace since the Dawn of Time.

Being a year 1 Baby Boomer, one of my earliest memories of events outside my own family is the morning in June 1952 when Mum announced that the king had died, and Princess Elizabeth had become Queen Elizabeth the second. (it would be a few years before I knew anything about the first) My next memory of a world shaking event was the The Suez Crisis of 1956. My home state of Tasmania has always been known as The Apple Isle, on account of the quantity of high quality apples produced there since first settlment in 1803. When I was a child, huge quantities of them were shipped to UK and Europe during the northern hemisphere off-season for locally grown fresh fruit. In 1956, in response to other events in the Middle East, the Egyptian government suddenly seized control of the Suez Canal. Many ships containing Tasmanian fruit were stuck in the canal for months while their precious cargos just rotted, resulting in a massive economic hit to the Tasmanian apple growing industry. Within a few years the government was paying orchardists to dig up their trees and and plant something else. Fruit is still grown there, and as cider has become more popular apples are still important, but that event forced the diversification of Tasmanian agricutlure, which, in retrospect was probably a good thing.

My childhood was regularly punctuated by other big news stories of regional spats, anti-colonial uprisings, wars and dangerous dictatorships athe MIddle East, Africa, SE Asia and Eastern Europe and South America, much of which was part of, or accompanied by, the long drawn out Cold War between the Communist East and The Capitalist West comprising Europe, N. America and their allies. I was 15 when that idealogical clash rose to that crisis known as the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1963. I clearly remember our parents intently focusing on the scary evening news, and how some fellow students were crying in the playground when I arrived at school one morning. The whole world felt very dangerous for a while – just as it does now, sixty years later.

The working title for these initial studies is ‘rules based disorder’ …

There’s more to be done on each of these, and I’ll probably make more, as I love making fibreart with grid layouts, but today I just needed to post these ‘studies’ in progress, partly to help my mind consider how motifs in grids are linking up with my feelings about the current state of the world.

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