The Needle and the Pen

This is the title of my work for the Bridging the Gap exhibition taken from a quote by Matthew Gregory Lewis (1775-1818) referred to as “Monk” Lewis because of the success of his 1796 Gothic Novel The Monk. You could say he was not a fan of female writers, opining that the needle not the pen is the instrument they should handle, and the only one they ever use dexterously.

Luckily for us, more and more women have ignored him and this is what I hope to show in my exhibit.

I’m currently working on panels to represent women British writers from 1950-2000. The image above shows some dyed silk leaves applied to parchment organdie with the threads used for the veins.

A fuller image shows that this panel will be for Elizabeth Jane Howard’s 1999 book Falling. I’ve copied her signature and added her dates, used split-stitch for the veins on a couple of leaves and….

laid it over a copy of the book.

Eventually I will cut the rectangle out and iron it onto page 183. (I’ve already added some Bondaweb to the back of the organdie.)

My workspace at the end of the day.

  • The small image at the beginning of this blog is of the Moine Thrust at Knockan Crag in the northwest highlands of Scotland. The upper rocks were pushed 120 miles over the lower rocks (leftwards) a billion years ago.

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