Windrush. Fading away with memories that will be lost. It's a history we should record. This is a blog of how my pieces are building.
1) Rachel - Most Racist Was In White Church 2) Marcia - Validation 3) The Background's Too Strong, it Needs to be Whiter 4) Jeff Brown - You Try To Do Your Best 5) George Saunders
"Marcia Watson - Validation"
Benjamin Zephaniah has very kindly given me permission to use some of his poetry in this next piece of work. I have been reading his autobiography and poems and making notes of wonderful words I could use. In the end I thought his portrait which is one of the Windrush series, should feature his poem about Windrush, "The Men from Jamaica Are Settling Down".
I felt it was important that these words were readable, and not knocked back to become part of the piece so was wondering how I could do this. My background which is a collection of sketches/painting I'd made of Brum were too strong and the words wouldn't show, so wondered what I could do about that. I decided on a layer of gesso with the words then written on top. I said to G, "the background's too strong, it needs to be whiter" and the title was born. My innards fizzed; it felt right. Thank you Benjamin!
22nd September 2023
20th September 2023
19th September 2023
6th September 2023
4th September 2023
2nd September 2023
2nd round of paint.
31st August 2023
I've begun to paint Marcia's face. This is the first layer of paint. I'm loving doing such beautiful skin tones.
24th August 2023
Ive started the 2nd quilt in this Windrush series. Marcia.
Hands, drawing hands! Absolutely hate foreshortening 😏
The series off at a tangent for a moment
Well, it's definitely #2 but not sure who it will be a portrait of. I have 3 volunteers and want to do one of Benjamin Zephaniah who is very inspiring and definitely one of the Windrush generation, but not exactly local.First things first though, I need to find a suitable bits of material to make them on. Benjamin's is sorted which may be why I want to get on with his portrait so much. The fabric is a collage of images I drew of Brum's landmarks.
Windrush portrait number 1, Rachel - Most Racist Was In White Church
16th August 2023
Knocking back the pink cloth by using blue thread. I started using a beautiful slightly shiny lyocell thread from madeira, but after adjusting tensions on top, plus bobbin, changing the needle, etc I had to give up and start unpicking, and then switch to my usual gutermann thread. Not such an exciting colour but no problems stitching.
12th August 2023
"My couldn’t stand fish and chips because our fish used to be well fried and when dad buy fish and chips it’s white inside and I said no, I’m not going to eat this . But tell you now I would change any Caribbean food for fish and chips. I would change any rice and peas and ackee and saltfish. Give me fish and chips".
10th August 2023
The quilt is building slowly and I'm working on the hands at the moment. The idea is that you can see the fabric through the painting, which you can, but from a distance it gives a slightly mottling effect - bit to difficult to paint in a thinner way without losing the realism which is important to me for these Windrush pieces. I've also been working on fish and chips as they play a significant part in Rachel's life in the UK.
First layers of stitching and first layers of paint.