Saturday, February 20, 2016

Silk Scrolls - The Palace

Here comes another silk scroll from the Asian series Ornaments. Now this was a real fun piece because of the unusual perspective and my favourite colours.
Theme again is from India, a continent full of extremely interesting cultures, a fantastic architecture and breathtaking crafts such as stone and wood carvings and textile arts. Especially the magnificent architecture of the past centuries was my inspiration for this silk scroll.

Especially the filigree stone carvings amaze me. Marble carved into ornaments where you ask yourself how on earth did the craftspeople succeed in defying gravity and the brittleness of stone where any tiny mistake cannot be undone but rather results in total desaster?

Even if many of the common people still suffer from hunger today just like hundreds of years ago, even if the growing suburbs are drowning in overpopulation with the consequence of increasing slums and extreme poverty there are still those rich people, surrounding themselves with an incredible splendor and luxury you hardly find anywhere else. One may not forget though that without these people all those miracles of architecture and handcraft would have been buried in oblivion. Wealth made it possible to employ hundreds of craftsmen, architects and artisans who constructed and built all these miraculous places and sites. Thus a culture came into being that can hardly be compared with anything else in this world.
If only the wealth would be distributed in a more just way instead of being kept in the hands of a few. But as long as these old feudal systems continue to exist there will be no substantial change.

"The Palace"
75" x 23"
silk scroll

A very sophisticated technique was used to keep the buildings cool inside in a very hot climate: walls, pillars, domes, ledges and mantelpieces were built in a special order so that the air could circulate through the open-work. This way the air was cooled down – a natural air-conditioning without any environmental pollution and without all the energy impact that seems to be necessary today.

Wouldn’t this be a thought provoking idea for modern architecture in the face of diminishing resources? The skyscrapers and modern glassy palaces which are built today and which feed on an incredible amount of energy are the true dinosaurs of history. Instead of continuing this recipe of huge egos and pride we should go back to the traditional constructions and check the applicability for our century. The one or other technique may well be used and applied to modern constructions. This would be one of the possibilities to declare war on waste. Many do this already but still not enough.

The construction of this scroll is the same as described in the last one: a middle piece, a head piece and a foot piece.

First a detailed drawing was created, then the middle piece painted with silk dyes.The detail work was the most important part for this silk scroll because it should be reminiscent of the filigree work of the traditional Indian stone masonry and ornamentation..

Also on this scroll head piece and foot piece were painted not batiqued. The similarity to the textile arts of southeast Asia is intended though - the ornaments were created with stencils, then transformed to the silk with a very soft pencil and finally painted with great care.


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