21 hours ago
Thursday, 27 November 2014
A new design for a sashiko panel
This beautiful mural is going to be the inspiration for my next large sashiko panel. Isn't it amazing? It has been on the end wall of the chapel at my old school, Ian Ramsey C of E, in Stockton-on-Tees since 1963 when the school was built. It faces the main road, so everyone who walks along Fairfield Road knows it well, and was one of the first pieces of modern art I remember seeing as a child - the other was a print of a cubist painting of a church that my godmother has over her fireplace, which I think was painted by Lyonel Feininger. Seeing works like this had a big influence on me and sparked my interest in art as a child.
I love the dynamic design.
The way the letters are set is typical of ecclesiastic artwork from the 1950s and 60s - lively and interesting.
I am going to make my panel in sashiko, although I had previously considered using applique. The geometric hitomezashi sashiko patterns will be perfect for representing the mosaic.
I am posting these photos today because this is what is happening right now.
The mural and stained glass on either side is being demolished along with the rest of the school. The black building behind the JCB is the new school. When I started to suspect that the mural wouldn't be incorporated into the new build, despite people living neaby being convinced that it would, I e mailed the school last December to ask about what was happening. I never got a reply. When I heard the demolition of the building had started, I sent another e mail to the school over a month ago and this time I got a reply that the mural would be demolished too, citing cost as the reason why it couldn't be saved. I feel that, with a year's warning, money could have been raised to move the mural to another location nearby and suspect that my initial e mail was conveniently ignored. Certainly, up until a few weeks ago, local people were under the impression that it would be kept. It is yet another piece of architectural vandalism carried out in Stockton-on-Tees, where for the last sixty years the town planners have overseen some beautiful buildings destroyed in the name of redevelopment. It actually feels like someone is trying to deliberately erase part of my memory.
When I attended the school, it had a very good art department - it set me on course for what I do today. If my former teachers were still alive, they would be horrified by what is happening today.
I was intereviewed by the local newspaper about this on Friday - here's a link to the article. I am sure people will regret the loss of this wonderful mosaic.