Thursday, 9 April 2015

Daphne’s Glove OR ‘The presence of Daphne’s absence’ OR ‘Traces of Daphne’…

THE glove: in original and negative form
This is a collective project I was asked to participate in many months ago. I knew it would be difficult alongside everything else I have taken on but it sounded exciting, it was flattering to be invited and the deadline was way off. The deadline is no longer way off, in fact it is the end of this month and is galloping towards me. The project will culminate in a joint exhibition with 11 other artists and our, well their progress is documented through social media so please look here... ‘A Group Gathering’

I have found it incredibly difficult to try and fit this project in but I have been determined since the beginning to create something aesthetically pleasing at the very least. However, it has, I admit, been much more difficult than I thought. And now it has come to producing the final piece my intentions are faltering again. Technically, I keep disappointing myself. 

My thoughts and ideas have only slowly taken shape and evolved. I wanted to ‘suggest’ the absent wearer (Daphne), a trace of her if you will, hopefully to provoke a sentiment, a connection, questions…
For my MA I have been researching memory; items left behind that suggest past lives, then conversely objects that could/would be evocative but are no longer there (physically) and trying to work out how to invent this using fabric and thread.
After much experimentation into technique albeit based on a different visual, I thought I had an excellent plan for Daphne’s glove. The reality is though that great ideas rarely look so great when immediately put into practice. So I struggle on…
I am working on a fabric piece, eventually using a somewhat darker palette than I started with, suggesting/indicating that Daphne has passed, though her femininity and  (futile?) attempts at ‘ladylike-ness’ remain.
Using screen printing techniques and a photographic, negative image of the (opened) glove I have ‘removed’ the image from the fabric only leaving an imprint of it, just as Daphne did on life. 
Paper stencil + open screen

The florals were printed using a stencil inspired by a pattern on a piece of torn wallpaper I photographed in an abandoned derelict house discovered in Cork, earlier this year – a room forgotten. I originally wanted the piece to be faded, imperceptible, almost not there but growing with vibrancy, detail and colour towards the ‘end’, that time when you no longer care about what other people think or how they see you, caution to the wind and all that. 
Original colour thoughts
However using the dark background means the discharged elements stand out starker than I first wanted.
Discharged dye

I could overdye the whole thing but I would prefer the glove to stay white so I may dip dye the lower part of the design to knock it back a little, although I really like the contrast. We shall see after I have slept on it. Then I MUST start stitching! I sampled the domestic digital machine as it is all I will have access to for a while but I do intend to also hand embroider…quickly! 
Machine embroidered sample


  1. Looks beautiful and fragile Claire, cant wait to see the finished piece. I am sure you will make the deadline..a deadline is good as it concentrates the mind !!!

    1. Thank you Karen, it's not as fragile as I was expecting, I was torn between a fabric that hung well and a more unsubstantial one, I went for the heavy so it'll be all about the applications!
      And I probably wouldn't ever get ANY work done if it wasn't for the 'deadline'!

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and creative journey and the process you are going through. there's nothing like a looming deadline to galvanise us in action...I look forward to seeing your 'Daphne' later this year in Ledbury.

    1. Thanks for reading Jeanette! I'm in the process, it's scarily in the dye bath now...fingers crossed!
      And me yours! Absolutely! :-)

  3. I am sure you will meet your deadline Claire. I look forward to seeing your finished piece.

    1. Thanks Jayne! If I don't it'll be the first time ever... I do TRY to be professional!!! ;-)