Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Silk Scrolls - Panaxia I

Panaxia was inspired by a natural spectacle that takes place in Rhodes, Greece each year:

on the western side of the island there is the Valley of the Butterflies. During August, thousands of butterflies of the genus Panaxia (species Quadripunctaria Poda) overwhelm the valley in order to reproduce. During the rainy season, the caterpillars feed on the foliage of the Mediterranean bushes. Towards the end of May, the metamorphosis begins and thousands of butterflies appear. They move constantly towards areas of highest humidity and finally arrive at the valley.
Due to several factors this natural wonder is endangered: disturbance by visitors. The butterfly cannot eat because it has no stomach. As a butterfly it purely survives from the energy stored from its previous stage as a caterpillar - if it is disturbed it has to fly all day consuming its energy which is needed for the mating season.

These decorative scrolls are reminiscent of ancient Chinese or Japanese scroll paintings, their construction though is completely different and has been developed by myself.

While traditional Japanese and Chinese silk scrolls are made from very thin painted silk, that is glued to paper which again is normally covered by patterned silk, my scrolls consist of 3 layers of fabric and no paper at all. The middle piece is constructed like a quilt with a layer of very thin batting between the top layer which is the painted silk and the back. Headpiece and footpiece are normally made from silk as well, which has been fused to a thin layer of rayon fabric.

Different from the Chinese and Japanese painting scrolls where the dowels are glued to the paintings themselves I have created something different: the fabric has been sewn to the back in order to form a little sleeve so that the dowel can be pushed in but also removed again. This gives more freedom in regard of hanging this scroll. Thus it is also possible to mount it on stretcher bars instead without damaging the painting.

 "Panaxia I"
42" x 24"
silk scroll, stitched and embroidered

The lines are an abstract representation of the bark of a tree and the red embroidery is the butterfly's under wing which you can only see when he opens his wings.
Here are some details of the scroll....

And again a virtual example of how the scroll could look like framed (just the middle piece)....


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