Friday, September 21, 2012

a white flag for peace


This is my finished flag and I am now excited anew about being part of this project. Today is International Peace Day and I am able to add my tiny grain of sand. I have been going through the entries and I can see that the blog is virtually flying high with them all! Mary Jane, you gave us such a wonderful opportunity, thank you.

After considering a (too) wide range of ideas and possibilities, I decided that fabrics would be my medium and white my colour of choice. My flag is made up by three different fabrics. A hand-woven piece I made with an old toy-loom, a larger piece of white cotton cloth and a shorter backing of white sack cloth, that you can see through the cotton. I used macramé cord to weave the first fabric and a long piece of cord is hanging loosely below the flag itself.


A close-up view of the upper part of the flag. Here you can see the woven fabric better. The white fringe is made up by the loose ends of the warp-threads.


The lower part of the flag, where I added a white twig that is being held in place by a couple of white ribbons. I spent more than 4 hours hand-fraying the edges of the cotton cloth!


Everything was hand-stitched here, I never used a sewing machine. Stitching by hand means spending more time with your work, establishing a long, calm dialogue with it and getting to know its needs and requirements better.


Here you can see the three fabrics better. The sack-cloth can really be seen through the cotton when the flag is hanging in an open space.

Sewing, weaving and working with cloths and fabrics are activities carried out in peace. Traditionally, fabrics were used to dress people and their homes, to protect them from the elements and to keep them warm and wrap them up with love and care. White is a peaceful, serene colour and it is also the colour of truce flags.

I will soon be posting photographs of my flag flying along with other nine flags made by the Spanish group of artists called 'Roots'.

16 comments:

  1. ersi, i love your interpretation - the white is so perfect in so many ways... i admire how each person has come into their own flags and shared so much insight with each of us here - broadening the discussion and thoughts about peace...
    the time and care you put into this project clearly shows - it is a moving tribute to peace -

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    1. Thank you so much, Mary Jane! I toyed with the idea of colours, bright and/or subdued ones, till I realized that Peace can only be white for me. And minimalistic, in a way. There is really very little to say about such big words like 'peace', 'love', 'existence', 'life' or 'death'. I felt so humble facing such a big word!

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  2. your flag speaks with such eloquence

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    1. A beautiful interpretation, I do thank you!

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  3. Ersi-
    This is such a serene piece with all its layers of white. I can imagine meditating upon it...

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    1. Working on this flag was almost meditative, the slow work of sewing and fraying brought forth thoughts and feelings that surfaced and surprised me. I am so happy you like it, thank you!

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  4. I love this very much, Ersi, and the sentiments are exactly what resonates with me. I especially like seeing the transparency - the layers and what lies beyound - total honesty.

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    1. I am touched by the word 'honesty' and I am so grateful for it! I wanted my flag to be light and weightless, a humble statement, a surface that is willing to reveal rather than conceal. I deeply appreciate your comment, Noela.

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  5. E- what a masterful piece - simplicity and strength in this peace fag. B

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    1. My heartfelt thanks, Barry. I did strive to put less and less in it, so it could mean more.

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  6. I love the simplicity and elegance of this flag- it is calming and gentle on the spirit; peace emanates and flows from this; I can feel it all the way over here. Thank you so much.

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    1. Thank you Fiona! It is such a warm feeling to know that my simple white flag can reach out and touch friends from afar. I am happy to share this sense of peace with you.

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  7. the flag speaks of spirit...merci beaucoup!

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    1. I learn new things about my own work through your comments, it is me who must thank you!

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  8. I love how this flag boils it all down for me in textures and a sort of visceral feeling. Thank you for sharing this peace with me!

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    1. Sharing is a happy experience and it does me lots of good too. I so appreciate this comment!

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