I haven't done any 'meaningful' textile work since Kiama passed away, my head was just not in the right place for it. I did however felt the need to do some creative therapy. Something 'textily' which doesn't involve much of my brain. So over the summer I started to do some crochet. I love doing crochet. Well you would do, wouldn't you, if you like me managed to crochet about 10 metres of café curtains during night shifts as a nurse in the 70's?
I can't show the curtains any more, but I still have the booklet with the pattern in it.
And this gives an idea of how they looked.
Anyway I wanted to do something more modern and trailed the internet and found this lovely bird pattern by Lucy on her colourful blog Attic24.
So I made several of these little birdies with cute dangly legs and buttons.
They are hanging now from some wrapped and decorated branches from another, earlier project, which I will tell about another time. The branches are in a vase on the diner table and give a continues happy and colourful display, especially during those dark days and when we don't have real flowers in the house.
Initially I wasn't aware of why I chose to make birds, apart from the fact that they looked cute, but then I realised that somehow they symbolised a kind of ascension. Kiama 'flying up and away', to other realms perhaps... Interestingly Ilana, my eldest, had started to doodle birds at the same time, so we also wondered if these birds were symbolising a part of our grieving process. Another layer of 'letting go'.
This brings me to another story. Just a couple of weeks before Kiama fell ill she phoned me one day with the question: "Mum, do you have any suggestions on how to catch a bird? I want to catch a bird and then let it go." She told me that it was for a short film, she wanted to make for an art competition, in which she wanted to present the concept of 'letting go'. Oh the irony of this, as we keep on seeing the signs.... with hind-sight!
Anyway, I never heard anything more about this project until after her death, when one of her friends posted a very short video on her Facebook wall. It showed Kiama laughing and cautiously trying to catch some pigeons at the market place in Norwich. We later also found some journal writing about it and some sketches of birds flying of bicycles.
Responding to her half-Dutch roots Kiama had a love for bicycles and cycling. Many of her art, social and uni projects had to do with bikes. So the sketch on the right is there for even more striking, with the fallen bike and the bird flying up to the sky, especially when you know that it is the last proper sketch in her latest sketchbook!