White Light

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Lots of things seem to be taking shape these days. Including the future. I was shocked to realise how reluctant I had become to plan. How afraid I had grown of imagining what the future might hold in store. I remember times when closing my eyes on the day was a relief and all the morrow held was dread. No more. Oh, definitely not anymore.

It takes an effort to change your mind. Open up. Take a chance. Believe that yes, there is brightness in the future. Lots of it.

A name was coined in those days of dread. One that despite everything kept coming back. Demanding its due. Asking to be seen. Considered. Its truth realised. Its perfect fit accepted.

Two days ago after an engagement with my beautiful Italian hairdresser (who loves the colours I wear and my ‘expressive personality’, so there), I was cycling home and stopped for a while to listen to the birds chattering in the twilight. So lovely. The street lighting switched on and I was just slightly… miffed… at the bright light just behind me, wishing it would go out. Pffft, off it went. Just that one. For a little while I enjoyed the twilight that had returned, laughter bubbling up. When I was ready, I looked back over my shoulder at the lantern in question and said laughingly: ‘Oh, come on!’

Will you believe me if I say it lit up, quite happy to comply? It did.

Magic is a welcome, happy companion in my life these days.

So. There it is. The name by which my creative endeavours will be known:

The White Light Studio.

First used in 2001 (or was it 1999?) when Silence, a collaborative work with my then partner combining photography and poetry, was published. At the time I did not see how good a match it really was. Scoured clean by the years and hopefully a little wiser, it now fits me like a cherished, comfortable old glove.

I’m sure it will only get better.

What I have been up to

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Healing love sent out into the world

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The other side

Oh, there is just not enough time in my days! Yet I believe I have never put my days to better use than I do now… 

Rare is the day on which there is not a dye pot simmering on my stove, on which I do not take thread and needle to fabric, on which I do not put pen or brush to paper or find another way to express my soul-expanding joy at having unlocked the gate to my creativity and artistic expression. I had no idea how narrow my life had become until it opened up again.

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Boro stitching on denim, using Japanese sashiko thread and a piece of eucalyptus-printed silk

I seem to have stepped into a fractal labyrinth, where every step opens up an infinite number of new paths. Trouble is, I want to follow every one of them and preferably all at the same time – but there is just one of me. Which leads to another lesson: learning to pace myself, something at which I have never been very good. I keep telling myself: You don’t have to do all this now – there is a whole life ahead of you yet, you can do this next year or the year after. After having looked backwards and inwards for so long, I see the future opening up and presenting a joyful array of opportunities once again. I may be growing older (just a little) but inside I seem to have found the fountain of youth. 

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What can I say? I love feathers.

One thing I have decided for this blog is that I will post more often but spend less time on the individual posts. I tend to brush and polish and check and double-check and I post less often because I know how much time it takes me. So: more posts, less time.

I’ll leave you with these images of an old cotton T-shirt ecoprinted with eucalyptus, which I simmered in an iron bath for a while… 

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How it came out of the dye pot. The string has since been used to make iron marks on a piece of wool.

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Unwrapping the magic…

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Glowing…

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I love how the string resist shows up in flowing white lines on the heavily iron-marked fabric. This part of the tee was in direct contact with the iron bath, unfiltered by layers of fabric. It makes me think of seaweed floating in water.

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One of the things I most love about eco printing is the huge array of colours it produces. While you can influence the outcome, you have no absolute control over the results.

It may be raining cats and dogs outside but in here the sun is still shining…