I get homesick for the smell of fabrics… Indian fabrics. I have this urge to bury my face in block-printed, tie-dyed, hand-embroidered cottons and silks that I indulge in the moment I get to my home town, Baroda. And I did just that recently, coming away with more than a suitcase full of the most delightful bits of cloth.
I have quite a collection built up over the years. Back in Bangkok, I open up the wooden chest and dive in for some very old pieces of embroidered throws/bed covers done by women in Gujarat and in Punjab. Silk thread stitches on cotton, bright reds, oranges and yellows, and the more sedate ochres and browns. Just a hit of blue and green inbetween… then there is the “Shibori” tie-dyed shirts – stitch by stitch the colour intensifies or fades and a whole landscape is captured that can be worn on the body.
I choose to dwell on this….. it calms the mind and feeds the senses. The other realities are hard and to grapple with them currently is to sink in the depths. Hence I hang on to warps and wefts, the stitches and threads, things that hold “things” together.
And I start to work with faded photographs taken in various locations in different continents. They are images of fragments of things, like memory being lost, of the mindscape being lost in the landscape….
As my friend Chitti Kasemkitvatana wrote (his text #4):
“photographs faded away, tomorrow could all be the same”
To which I replied:
“wiping out yesterday, traces remain to become tomorrow’s memory, memory that gets erased with each passing moment..”