Posts Tagged ‘Rowland Ricketts’

Pondering the “Views” or landscape

January 21, 2018

My entry, now in Japan, collecting light with ojiisan for companionship.

I’m not going to try to second guess what Ricketts and and folks in Tokushima had in mind when they conjured up this project.  To have only been thinking about indigo and bringing in an international aspect was and is a statement, just on that simple or basic level. It speaks.

What comes to my mind first, is the word けしき/keshiki. One definition is “scenery, view or landscape”. One person involved in the cloth dyeing process used ‘scenery’, Ricketts said ‘view’ and I like ‘landscape’. That speaks to me. A recent video is here. You, dear reader, can decide for yourself.

Another thing is that there were 9 (possibly 10?) countries represented with 450 participants, each person given a square of indigo (or handkerchief) cloth. Each piece collected the rays of the sun from their personal parts of the world for roughly 5 months. Then, they were returned to Japan and now on display for roughly a week.

The universal color, dyestuff was indigo – one color absorbing the sunbeams from 10 different countries – collected, to make a whole “‘scape”, landscape or view. 450 people represented from 10 different countries, represented by 450 pieces of cloth bathed in sunlight, reflecting one universal hue with no borders between them. They are all unified by sunlight and color. Each individual, each county or province, state, country…all side by side just “breathing” quietly in blue.

That’s what speaks to me. I wonder what else comes to mind.



Intro. to Indigo

May 29, 2008

Intro. to Indigo

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

2003 marked the 150th anniversary of Commodore Perry’s first expedition to Japan. In honor of that event, the NC Japan Center had several activities which included an Indigo dyeing and shibori workshop with Rowland and Chinami Ricketts. It was held at the NC State School of Design. I signed up for a one day workshop and wound up doing it for two.

I cannot remember if I’ve actually seen dyers at work in Kagoshima or not. I remember the weavers and that they rinsed and stretched their long swaths of fabric in front of my house. Of course, I visited in the tiny “apartments” of the guild almost daily. They may have dyed their thread there as well, but at this point, I don’t remember. I was a child then. However, I did feel a strong connection with that past when I worked with indigo that weekend, so I’ve continued to work with it since.

It has now been 5 years since that weekend. I was reminded of it again when I saw Roland’s work, an indigo dyed noren in January at the Fiberart International held at the Mint Museum in Charlotte.

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