Six Days of Pain
While I was lying in bed at the hospital in severe pain, when I closed my eyes all I could see was black with red lines. This experience is the basis for my artwork on pain. After a period of recovery, I decided to express what I had experienced in hospital through a small artwork consisting of six A5 sized pages in a concertina format. I used a black cotton background and red thread, with cord and ribbon for the lines. I hoped that this might help me get over the experience. This book became the maquette for my larger work Six Days of Pain.
I spent some time looking for the appropriate materials for the final piece. I wanted to use the blackest fabric I could find which is velvet. However, the nap on the velvet hid much of the stitching and so proved not to be suitable. The final material chosen is a viscose/lycra blend. It has a slight stretch but is backed with interfacing to keep it stable. I collected a selection of the brightest red threads, ribbons and cords that I could find, including some with sparkle and these were then either sewn or couched onto each of the six panels.
The panels each represent one of the six days I was in hospital – from Monday (when I had surgery) to Saturday. The density of the colour represents the amount of pain I felt, while the height of the panels represent time. The six panels show a visual scale of the pain I was in. Each piece was then stretched onto a canvas. Stretching these as one would a painting elevates them to be viewed more as a painting than a textile work, but for me the stretching symbolises the tension that comes with the pain as if on tenterhooks waiting for the pain’s return.