Sunday, 20 May 2018

POMEGRANATE SUZANI (Weekly Art Project #16; Istanbul)

My two weeks in Istanbul were a rich & fulfilling exploration of that incredible city, but I have one regret.  I didn't try on the Suzani  coat covered in pomegranate motifs similar to the photo above! 

I passed it several times in the Spice Market & it was...stunning!

There is a very good reason I didn't try it on....being considerably taller (& proportionally bigger) than both the average female tourist and the local Turkish women looking at clothes,  I guessed that it wouldn't fit me, so didn't even enter the shop.  Had I  looked into the future & seen how often I have since thought about that pomegranate coat & regretted that I hadn't  tried  it on, I may well have backtracked & been brave enough to enquire whether there were any bigger sizes!!!

Suzani is a beautiful embroidered textile tradition produced in a few regions in Turkey.  Usually embroidered onto a plain off-white cotton background, they feature colourful flower & vine motifs.  Pomegranates are also a popular motif.

The pomegranate is an ancient symbol of fertility, but it is also a fruit that grows well & is commonly available from vendors on the streets, who will squeeze that juice, rich in antioxidants into a little cup for the right price!

So what triggered these pomegranate related memories, you may be asking?
Well, this week, we picked the first & only pomegranate from the tree we planted 4 years ago! Yes, it is small & underdeveloped.'s still a pomegranate & we are very proud of it!!!!

Another first this week, was the purchase of a graphite crayon.  A friend had used one in a workshop & let me try it out. I immediately loved the smooth flow of line & pure pleasure of drawing with it, so determined to add one to my own mark-making arsenal!

I started my day, just drawing pomegranate shapes over & over again, each with a slight variation.

On short-listing my favourites, I then thought about a format for a Suzani inspired pattern & trialed each of the pomegranates, adding some colour, exploring both options and potential.  At the same time I was doing this, I was contemplating the technicalities of HOW I was going to achieve a Suzani effect.

I decided that I was going to produce this piece in two sections.  The first 'sandwich' of fabrics had the stitching lines applied, before ....

....I layered up the next 'sandwich' of fabrics & then stitched into them. Once ironed it was time for the cutting back to begin.  Here's how it went...

...and finally...

I've made the photo size larger, so that you can see the extra stitching on the pomegranate!  This piece took a LOT of time in the machine stitching.  As there were a lot of small & fiddley sections ,  the cutting back caused a blister or two as well!!!

I am very pleased with both the experiment & the result.
This will be my last weekly art project for a few months, so I felt it was a good place to finish on.  When I return, I will resume my trip down memory lane with Istanbul, as there are still some many inspirations I haven't yet explored here... although I am fully aware that my head will be brimming over with fresh inspiration from Iceland & Norway! I think it's fair to say that travel inspired weekly art projects are going to keep me going for a loooooooong time!
Till next time...thanks for following my art adventures!!

*Please respect that the photos in the post above are my own property.  If you wish to use them, please ask first.  Thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment