Thursday, October 18, 2012

Xylene swirls

My recent visit to Dr Adam Hamlin at Charles Sturt University inspired me to create new artworks based on the research Dr Hamlin is currently doing into the neurological effects of rye grass toxins on livestock. The image of slide preparation that inspired this work can be found in this blog post. (You can also see it in the picture at left.)
In the earlier blog post, I mentioned that I was fascinated by the oil-slick rainbows that swirled in the fluid as the fatty cell walls and extraneous matter dissolved off the slides. To try to capture the effect of the light breaking up into all the colours of the spectrum, I really overexaggerated the colours in the image to make them vibrant and contrasty.
Then I mentally divided the image into bands or stripes to create a rhythm of colour and texture. The partially complete work is shown below. Some of the stitches I have used, such as the feather stitch with French knots and the rows of chain stitch, also echo the rye grass that is behind the project. I've worked this one on pale blue silk to represent the blue protective lab coats, and the gorgeous country landscape outside the lab windows, rather than on black as most of my other works have been.

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