Jewels in the Sea
There’s a beautiful World Atlas from the 1970s that I found in a church bric-a-brac sale. It’s fascinating how out of date it is, but the pages are printed in gloriously saturated blues and greens. Each page is a joy to look at.
Especially, I thought, the pages that showed islands of the Caribbean – I’ve never been there, though I’d love to go. Deep blues everywhere of course in these maps, as there’s so much sea in the mix, but fantastic pinks and oranges and all sorts on the islands themselves.
Folding the Ocean
In this piece, I set about reorganising them though, as they were scattered over a few pages. Folding and stitching them until they were back together in some new way – like jewels in a precious box. Then, in search of a suitable title, I payed a visit to the official Caribbean tourist board’s website and stumbled upon a phrase that they say describes all their islands – “weirdly, wildly wonderful”. And I think they really are.
Holding the Space
Looking at the piece in context, it is a grid of sorts. The bold blue square is held firmly with stitching that borders the whole piece. Stitching highlights the verticals, while the ‘random’ arrangement of multi-coloured islands allow your eyes to see the horizontals. The tension between the two hold the grid tightly in place. The vertical pleats give it texture and depth, drawing your eye in close enough to read the place names. And get pleasantly lost in this sea of wonderful islands…