Bohemian memento

As a lacemaker, who thinks and creates mostly in monochrome, two-dimensional plane, I am always totally amazed how classical music fills the entire space with colours and emotions, and how masterfully it evokes memories and conveys love…

Music, like all other creations, starts as an idea in the head of a single man, who despite all odds, puts it on lined paper to record it for himself, others, and sometimes for posterity. Played by a group of people with curious instruments who have forsaken well paid careers to play notes, the music becomes alive and has the power to move men and mountains. When the sound dissolves into waves which will keep traveling to the edge of the universe, those men – and mountains – will never be the same…

I feel so priviledged to live in times when culture is abundant and great classical musical performances  are available either live or recorded. I find a lot of pleasure and inspiration in them.

This month, we are remembering birthdays of several musical geniuses, including two of my favourite Czech (Bohemian) composers: 

Vítězslav Novák, born December 5, 1870 – 

Bohuslav Martinů, born December 8, 1890 – ∞

According to my understanding of life and death, they became immortal…

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Humbly, I offer an image of one of my early works,  called in the Czech language “Mezi nebem a zemí”. It  by no means compares to the towering art of my birth country compatriots, but at least it expresses a little bit what music means to that small nation in the middle of Europe.

 

Summer Exhibitions

The Offering: Red Berries has been accepted to the “Island Wilds” visual arts show at the Ptarmigan Gallery on Pender Island, BC. It is a home island of Thuja Wood Art and its proprietor, Colin Hamilton, who creates frames for my lace. You can find out more about his amazing works from red cedar wood salvaged on the Gulf Islands’ beaches in his blog, facebook or instagram.

Another lace sculpture, Meganeura, was accepted to the ARTS  2020 juried show in Surrey Art Gallery, in Surrey, BC, Canada. Unfortunately, this space is still closed due to the pandemic restrictions, so the exhibition is for now hosted online by the Arts Council of Surrey.

Let’s enjoy these connections and share the creativity and positive energy!

Offering: Red Berries

 

Frame:
Cedar driftwood (designed and made by Colin Hamilton of  Thuja Wood Art
Lace:
Enamelled copper and stainless steel wires 

Semi-precious stones and beads: 
Bamboo Coral,  Clear Quartz Crystal, Hawk’s Eye, Rudraksha Seeds

 Technique: handmade bobbin lace – TesseLace pattern

Dimensions in centimetres: h:43 x w:43 x d:5
Dimensions in inches: h:17 x w:18 x d:2

If cold winter months are good for something else than hibernating, it is for lacemaking. Long, dark nights offer quiet time for uninterrupted work and allow sustained focus that reaches almost a state of meditation.

Cocooning in my studio, I was looking for an idea for lace that would fit in one of Colin’s driftwood frames. Dried by sun and fresh air the wood feels so warm, as it is radiating energy collected over many summers. Just like standing cedar trees, the driftwood offers assurance that we, too, will survive yet another winter. Living on the West Coast of Canada for thirty years, I came to understand why cedar has been considered sacred by indigenous people.

majestic cedar tree in my backyard

An empty red cedar driftwood frame has been standing on the shelf in my studio for more than a year, patiently waiting for lace. Upon invitation, the images kept appearing, but none of them strong enough to stay and prompt me into action. One day, on a walk through fresh snow in Kwomais Point Park, I was amazed by dark lines of underbrush with embellishments of ice and red berries, set starkly against pristine white background. There is a lot of lace to be found in the forest, but rarely in such plain sight.  

I started to work on my next offering. Once again, my connection with Veronika Irvine and her  TesseLace worked miracles, and I was able to find the right grid and use the Circular Grid Templates for designing the mandala.

It worked so well that the piece was finished before the snow in the forest melted… It became my offering to the season that makes us revere cedar, to the beauty of snow and ice, and to the berries who know how to say ‘fertility’ like no other.

The Offering: Red Berries will be shown in juried exhibition ‘Just Gates’, organized by Arts Council of Surrey, in April 2019.

Copyright©2019. Lenka Suchanek. All rights reserved.