the bees are launched

26 Jul

So, the theme for Contextural 2012 residency exhibition being “Material Resonance”, a riff on what we were doing five years ago when Contextural was “born”, i had dug through my archives and found a photo of this face/work and decided to “respond” to it.

“Not A Hive Mind” 27×20″ ecoprinted and rusted cotton, machine and hand embroidery, dimensional applique

(The borders by the way, are straight and have 90degree corners–i need to learn how to adjust or use my camera so it doesn’t barrel edges.)

Quite a different feeling, and quite a different time frame to make! I think the one in ’07 probably took 2-3 hours, not that that makes it any better or worse: it’s just interesting to feel the effect time has on work. I know though that i thought less during that period of where to go next, what influence the current piece would have on future work or even what i’d use it for when it was done! Of course, i was also not that into hand work: “Slow Cloth”, or doing things by hand period were not on my radar. I don’t dislike now that original face but it doesn’t really have any personal meaning to it either. I joined Contextural in 2009, so it’s only my 4th year, but this was an interesting jump point. To go back to old work and change, augment, refine, build on, (whatever the appropriate word/phrase is), was a valuable exercise.

I’m surprised too to see that while it seemed a long time to make this one, it was really only July 12th that i first put needle to it! Amazing what happens when you turn the computer off.

Some of the mysteriously dyeable lace has made an appearance again, though only as a slim border. I don’t know what i’ll do when i run out of it 🙂

As i worked those gold radials, i was thinking ahead to the 3d piece i want to do, again not sure it will be done (enough) to show in the exhibition, but something i definitely want to finish regardless. And lest anyone have the image of tires on this piece, a radial pattern is one that appears to radiate from a point, like the spokes from the hub of a wheel!

A good sign for me that the form/figure is where i want to be next, is that i couldn’t sleep last night, thinking about it. (When i stop resolving problems at night is when i know it’s time to turn to something else.) I’m not getting all mystical or artsy here, it’s just a fact, part of my process and practice. (Dear gawdz, i used those words in a serious sense….someone slap me….)

Though i need/want to get to the next piece, the form, i am taking the weekend off, starting



5 responses to “the bees are launched

  1. Chimo

    July 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Spectacular! and all the bees are exactly where they should be. Well done, girl – you definitely deserve a bit of a rest. Enjoy.



  2. MA

    July 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Have a wonderful break from heavy duty stitching and you can return with renewed vigor for playing with the next piece. This one is one of your best – at least IMHO!


  3. Rae Poon

    July 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Congratulations Arlee, on completing this piece so quickly & with so much ” textural meaning”. Well, for me anyway! Enjoy your weekend off.


  4. Caroline Bell

    July 28, 2012 at 2:55 am



    • arlee

      July 28, 2012 at 8:26 am



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