What is new in my studio?? Lots! I will start with my installation in August.
Last month, I finished and installed a set of banners for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte. This installation marked the beginning of the UUCC's "Cycle of Worship" for the 2009-2010 year. In this cycle the second Sunday of month the UUCC service is dedicated to a significant theme to focus and increase our awareness and understanding of the lives of the members. Particularly how to nurture ourselves, our families, our community, our earth, and our universe.
I created this set of five banners each 7.5 feet tall and 62 inches wide to hang in the vestibule of the church.
After some discussion with the minister, Jay Leach, I chose to use a combination of the dictionary definitions of each theme and overlaid a set of illuminated words. My thought was to depict the many ways we learn to understand these topics and to understand the depth of each lexicon, the usage, and the mystery of each theme.
My process began with five lengths of white pima cotton, each was dyed twice in a soft mottling pattern to create the look of old, stained parchment. Then using thickened dye, I screen printed the definitions of each theme word using similar margins, typeface, and spacing that are found in dictionaries. Each of these dye processes take 24 hours to complete to create dye-fast color on the fabric.
In the past few months of traveling I stumbled upon 4 different exhibitions of illuminated manuscripts all over the country. This gave me a chance to see the different types of illuminations and get an idea of the feel for the documents. My versions are no were near the detail or perfection of hand the historic documents I saw - they were so intimate and fragile. But I did get a chance to see many styles and then did quite a bit of research on illuminated manuscripts. Taking my lead from a style using trailing vines and leaves I designed the letters that I needed for this project. I enlarged the sketches and transferred them to the yardage. I then hand illuminated the large initials and the text lettering.
I choose to install each banner wrinkled intentionally to further create the look of old parchment manuscripts.
The banners will hang in the UUCC through August 2010.