Monday, December 4, 2017

Life in the Northern Hemisphere

It has been a bit of a shock to return to BC from New Zealand at the end of November. Driving home from the airport, I asked David if it was always this dark at 4:30 in the afternoon. It felt end of the world-ish to me. I even took a photo of it, and looked it up online, and it's true that we are about 8 degrees of latitude further north than I was degrees south in Wellington, and it is winter here, but still. How quickly one forgets about the sluggishness that settles in, in November, December and January. It's not always like this, of course, and there was one brilliant day last week when the new snow was visible on top of the mountains, but those days are the exception.
So what does one do? Well, I'm being kind to myself while I re-acclimatize myself to my Vancouver Island reality. I have spent most of this week tidying up my studio, and it's looking as though it will be another week at least before I'm well and truly finished. While I was away I took the brave step of listing my studio in the guide to artists in the mid-Island. This was a necessary step if I want to be included in the Spring Studio Tour, which I do. But it also means that I might have visitors at other times too, and I need to be ready for that. So a massive re-organization and tidy-up was called for.
I finished another of my African collages this week - this one is called "In Search of a Better Life". It's is the fifth in the series, and began with me thinking about all the different ways that people consider themselves rich. It might be in acquiring property, or in having produce to sell at the market. It might be in gold and jewels or perhaps as basic as feeling rich when we have enough food to eat. It might be in having the opportunity to go on adventures. I especially liked being able to use the footstep fabric which I purchased in Ghana. Other found items include paper beads, cowrie shells, buttons from Lesotho, a barkcloth painting from Uganda, and porcupine quills from Namibia. I'm keen to get to work on the sixth collage, and have been sketching ideas for that. 
And for those times I simply want to add stitches to fabric, I've begun another project - adding African motifs to my cloth "canvas", improvisationally. The batting is a wool blanket and is as delicious to stitch through as butter. The thread is #8 perle cotton. I'm not quite sure how this will develop, but trust it will tell me what to do as I go. 
I also wanted to let you know that while I was in New Zealand, my dear Sweetie was in Uganda. For those of you who have followed this blog for sometime, you know that I used to spend a good bit of time each year in Uganda working with a group of women in a sewing project. I want to report to you that they are still sewing, albeit not as much as they'd like, and many items were purchased from them to bring back to Canada to raise funds for the Widows' Garden Project that David is now involved with. He also had the opportunity to visit Rechael's Clinic in Kikagate, and it is doing very well indeed. So good to hear news of these women, who are never very far from our thoughts. 

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back to BC, Pippa! It was intriguing to compare your perspective on Lake Ferry to Trisha's: an excellent lesson in how what seems obvious to each of us may appear entirely differently to others. I just noticed in your sidebar the list of creative books you love and had a laugh: I too have all of those books and treasure their wisdom. Just so you know, I'm planning to introduce a contributors' book review column into the FAN newsletter so if you ever feel inclined to share what you've gained from any of those books, you'll have a forum to do so.