Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sweet reveal: Leave my Land Alone

You might recall that I for the special 12/12/12 reveal I managed to produce only an insipid, contrastless, unexciting map.  You can read the sorry tale here . Since than the map - which looked like this
 

has sat unloved on a corner of my work table. every now and agan I'd pick it up and mutter 'Sweet, sweet, sweet. Come on. Think. Sweet.' but no ideas came. I did not know whether to bin this and start again.(But I had no alternative ideas). Or to make this work. (But I didn't know how.) I hated it. I hoped everyone would forget that I never finished it. then I got news that the 20/12 quilts were wanted for exhibition. I had to finish it.

Then one day I was tidying up some boxes of scraps and bits and this sample Maasi warrior fell out onto the top of the sweet map.



 Ta-Dah! Of course.. it needed a man. That much should have been absolutely obvious from the outset. Mostly because the quilt is about the story of how the government are taking the land of the Omo tride in Southern Ethiopia to make sugar plantations. The maps shows their current land and how much will be affected by their forced relocation.(Read more here). For me the stories in my quilts are always about the people and their lives. Not the landscape. So, how I didn't think to add an Omo tribesman with his traditional body paint I will never know.

Especially as the first page in my Studio Filofax, which I open almost every day, is, um, a picture of an Omo tribe family.. (Doh!)


And the great irony is that this most hated and loathed quilt is now my favourite of my 20/12 series!

Time will do great things.

8 comments:

Karen said...

Yay Helen what a happy ending to a bittersweet story:). Your man was a great solution to your problem.

Diane Perin Hock said...

I agree, an excellent resolution to the problem. The map makes a great contrast background for the strong warrior. It's also a good example of how letting something sit can be a good thing. Thank goodness you didn't bin this!

Kristin L said...

Sometimes things just have to percolate a while before the answer comes! I'm so pleased that you could still tell your original story. It is so much stronger now. The shape, contrast, color, and the figure literally looking at his land, works wonderfully. Kudos!

Brenda Gael Smith said...

Ah, sweet serendipity strikes again! Combine that with your design decisions as to the position, pose and. colouring of your Omo man, and you have a great result!

Gerrie said...

Excellent solution - I love those serendipitous design happenings!!

Terry Grant said...

Not only is this a solution to a problem, it doesn't look like a fix--it looks like it was always meant to be. The figure and background blend seamlessly and tell such a strong story together. Brava!

koubkovi said...

Das ist ein fantastischer, kraftvoller, beeindruckender Quilt geworden. Gut, dass du ihn nicht voreilig weggeworfen hast. Auch Meisterwerke brauchen ihre Zeit, um sich gebührend zu entwickeln.

Judy Murdoch said...

That is a really powerful piece now! Your map made such a great background at so many levels. Good thing you didn't pitch it out!