Sunday, 27 May 2007

May Project : there is no way to happiness, happiness is the way

As you know I have enrolled in Robin Atkin's Bead Journal Project. It means I have to choose a format and stick to it for a whole year. I couldn't make up my mind so I made a sample Beaded Journal page to test the 4 inches by 4 inches format. Let's say it will be my book's foreword ;o)

It began by a need for skies. Then I felt like using this little bit of William Morris fabric I had, and some of my blue strawberry flower beads... little by little I knew an animal had to come in, and after a while I knew it had to be a rabbit (though it could've been a bat or a swallow too).

Well yes, the rabbit is blue, not to comfort the white lions, but because of this

"Watership Down", a classic book by Richard Adams, and a cult animation movie by Martin Rosen. I guess the themes that appeal to me in this story are "getting out of the box", "political action", "mythology" and "running away". My most ancient nightmare is about "running away". Watch a clip from the film here.

Also my eldest daughter is called Alice Hazel Camille.

Detail of 'Alice in Wonderland', furnishing fabric, Charles Francis Annesley Voysey, England, about 1920. Museum no. CIRC.856-1967

There is also a company of blue rabbits in the classic French Musical "Emilie Jolie". They help out Emilie, who is trapped inside a book, but have a terrible problem : they change colours when they catch a cold. My second daughter, born in the year of the rabbit, is called Emilie Heather Olympe.

I took this little blue rabit from the only embroidered project I had completed when Alice was a baby, probably because it reminded me of this wonderful appliqué cushion my mother had made in honour of her late grand-father.

Last but not least, this little rabbit running in a strawberry field is an hommage to Robin Atkins, who collects rabbit shaped beads and buttons.

I think I have found my theme for my Beaded Journal ; it will probably be interpretations of pre-existing stories(books, paintings and/or films). As a child I have often found comfort in fairy tales and what Salavodor Dali used to call the poor man's shrink : films. As an adult I believe in jungian psychology and the healing powers of stories (as explored by Clarissa Pinkola Estes for instance).


Robin said...

What a totally lovely tribute to the rabbit! I love your BJP forward and the piece you made when Alice was a baby. Both precious... Thanks for this wonderful post!

Hélène H said...

Thank you very much Robin :o)

ACey said...

This was a beautiful post. I love the various pieces of handwork you shared! also thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such kind "footprints".

Hélène H said...

Thanks Acey !