Monday, July 25, 2016

A Tale of Jealousy in Needlepoint

The Baltimore Museum of Art has done a video about a late 17th Century pillow that illustrates the story of Hagar, Abraham and Abraham's wife.
https://hands-across-the-sea-samplers.com/narrative-needlepoint-baltimore-museum-art/

The video narrator talks about the fact that the story all occurs in the same dimension, even though in space and time the story would be laid out more like a cartoon in different panels.    I found that interesting because for us 21st Century needlepointers, the choice of designs is often a window into our mental processes, not a straightforward narrative.  It's also interesting that so few needlepoint designs today tell a story at all, much less in such a compact way.

Some designers do tell stories, of course.  Think about Annie Lane's animal pieces.  "Granny's Wild Ride" is a short story in and of itself.
http://www.wellesleyneedlepoint.com/AnnieLaneDesigns.shtml

But most designers only hint at what is going on, leaving the stitcher to fill in the blanks mentally as they stitch.  A good example of this is "Miami Beach" from Otto Agular/Purple Palm Designs.
http://www.stitchtherapyneedlepoint.com/feature.php?id=31016&title=Miami%20Beach&itemtype=hand%20painted%20canvases

Is the couple walking on the beach breaking up? Sharing secrets?  Or just getting exercise?  Today we mostly add the narrative as we stitch, instead of stitching the narrative.

But I could be wrong.  Have you stitched a story yourself?  One that is as easily interpreted as Hagar's Pillow?

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 17, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

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