The Alchemy of Art

Having been so intensely working on The Shell piece lately, I missed reading some of the blogs I usually keep up to date with. But at the end of last week I went back to the wonderful Rima Staines’s blog – The Hermitage, and was bowled over by her post, The Alchemist.

I’m a big fan of Rima’s artwork and look forward to her posts, but in The Alchemist, I found myself thinking how close my own experience of transformation is, to that which Rima describes in the creation of her paintings. And I was especially taken by her use of the ribbons as threads of magical inspiration woven into a work and then taken up by others as a result of contact with the work.

This is incredibly resonant with the way I see the creation of tapestry pieces.

Not only are these works literally the weaving of threads, but in creating the pieces, we bring parts of ourself into the work too. Our moods, our feelings, our loves, are all incorporated. But these inspirations have originated through our response to other works of art or nature and so we are bound too within a web of creation.

Rima talks about the act of creation as nourishment to the soul and I have to say I heartily agree. When I’m immersed in my stitching, I’m in a deeply peaceful place, more than simply a relaxation, it is actually stimulating. Thoughts and ideas grow there. Indeed it is extremely nourishing, and probably the reason why having given in to the desire to sew, I now find myself feeling whole.

Who are we to know who will pick up a thread from our work, or what they will make of it? – it doesn’t really matter. The point is that we are all alchemists, all involved in transformations and all enriching the greater whole by pursuing our art.

A huge thank-you to Rima for expressing the magic of alchemy.