Pomegranates by Dorothy Tucker 2018. 54 x 62 x 2cms. This piece was built through piecing together scraps of coloured fabrics, and then damaging the stitched surface and design by burning and abrasion.
Worn Away by Dorothy Tucker 2018. 35 x 35 x 3cms. A pieced and patched fragment features hand stitching damaged by abrasion and burning.
Hung out to Dry by Dorothy Tucker 2017. 92 x 54 x 10 cm. Polyester cotton painted with dye-based watercolours to replicate a printed fabric, made up into a simple dress.
Pomegranate Painting 1 by Dorothy Tucker 2017. 34 x 29cms. As the fruit ripen their skins tighten over the seeds contained within and become like knobbly caskets. Painting on paper with dye based watercolour.
Birch Branch and Leaves by Dorothy Tucker2015. 117 x 84 x1cm, 30 x 40 x 2cms each. Using ink and watercolour on crumpled paper these images of birch trees in winter were digitally printed onto linen.
Loss through Burning by Dorothy Tucker 2018. 38 x 35 x 3cms. A fragment features printed and hand stitched designs altered by cut work, abrasion and burning.
Leaves and Plate by Dorothy Tucker 2012. 45 x 33 x 0.02 cm. A contemporary take on kantha referencing woven saris borders and the coloured stripes sometimes sandwiched between folded layers of cloth.
Birch Branch and Leaves by Dorothy Tucker 2015. Detail. A moment of added colour and kantha stitching on a pen and ink drawing digitally printed onto linen.
Pomegranate Painting 2 by Dorothy Tucker 2017. 26 x 20cms. Cut, the fruit falls open like a pair of printing blocks, each seeded surface instantly a source of pattern. Painting on paper using dye based watercolour.
Left Behind by Dorothy Tucker 2017. 64 x 54 x 10 cm. Polyester cotton fabric painted dye-based watercolours to replicate a printed fabric made up into a dress which was then stained, torn and burnt.
My choice to stitch by hand and the way I build a contemporary stitched textile continues to be inspired by kantha. Kantha is a Bengali word for cloth and stitching an embroidered quilt. These quilts are made from the good parts of old worn saris, layered and held together with lines of running stitch. I am intrigued by the free style qualities evident in the drawing of kantha designs, the mix of non-representational images and decorative motifs, and the individuality of each kantha.
As I became more informed about making kantha I began to reference the woven saris borders and coloured stripes sometimes sandwiched between layers of folded cloth work by including layers of coloured fabrics in my work.
In May 2017 I participated in DIS/rupt, a Textile Study Group exhibition. To express the dismay, despair and damage I feel as I read current migration stories I created two similar but contrasting dresses for this exhibition. One a pristine garment hung out to dry. The other stained and torn presented on the ground as if left behind and trampled on. This damaged dress is partially concealed in sand littered with cigarette butts and ring pulls. Through the contrasts between these dresses the viewer is invited to imagine what might have happened, and to consider the dangers, disruption and loss experienced by refugees. Both dresses carry designs based on the pomegranate, a symbol representing life and death, growth and fertility across many cultures. To replicate a printed fabric these designs were hand painted using dye based watercolours.
In the autumn when pomegranates were for sale in local shops, entranced by the vibrancy of dye based watercolours, I made a series of paintings which led into three patched and pieced textile pieces in which the stitching is partially damaged by burning and abrasion.
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