Tina, who writes the visual feast of a blog Colourliving, recently asked me to take part in one of her regular features, Vive La Difference. The guest (me) picks a theme and some objects from a given list, and then produces something using these as inspiration. Tina does the same, and both results are posted. It is always interesting how different the pieces are – hence the post title.
Anyway, my choice was ‘Picasso’ as my theme, and ‘clothes’ and ‘fabric’ as my objects.
I trawled through my many books about Picasso, and eventually came up with the above image, ‘The Meal’, painted exactly sixty years ago. Beautiful isn’t it? I changed my mind about which painting to use about a million times, but in the end the image of a mother feeding her two children was too autobiographical to let go. Also, the mother looks like me, unfortunately.
Finding matching colours was more difficult than I expected, as usually I lay my hands on the exact piece straight away. I can’t believe it, but I have no plain black fabric on Fabric Mountain. It goes completely against my grain to buy fabric especially, so I used a black and white print and made life much more difficult for myself. Finding red was easy.
The piece was six weeks in the making, and I enjoyed every minute. As usual, it was almost completely sewn on public transport. You can find it in my shop.
This is what I used:
Orange A worn-out pair of my husband’s boxer shorts. I bought these on Christmas Eve 1996 from the Next near to Charing Cross Station. They were a last minute Christmas gift (along with an orange jumper, bought at the same time) en route to Wales (via my first ever visit to Paddington Station), where we were going to spend our first Christmas away from our respective families. It is the only time I have ever been to Wales. When we arrived at the very small station (can’t remember where), it was dark and snowing. It was Christmas Eve’. It was magical. We called a cab from a callbox, as suggested by the hotel. A cab pulled up and a very grumpy driver drove us about 15 paces to the hotel. I have never felt so bad in my life. The boxer shorts were not passed on to another user for obvious reasons. My husband will be devastated when he reads this post, but in fact these shorts have proved useful for many other projects (unknown to him) already – remember those icons?
Purple and Green Shirts given to me by my friend Del, who drove me to Lewisham Hospital when I went into labour.
Black From a black and white print shirt. I wore this a lot in the Eighties, it was about twenty sizes too big.
Cream As above, but replace my friend Corrinne for me, and cream silk for black and white print.
Blue My daughter’s too-small Monsoon skirt. I bought this from a charity shop, so it was already the worse for wear. By the time my daughter had finished with it it was covered in various art materials. She loved it and wore it to death.
Yellow Jade’s dress. Jade could swim the equivalent of The Channel when she was eight years old. She was one of my pupils when I taught full-time. She gave me the dress as a gift.