Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ayako Miyawaki Applique and Medieval Italian Ironwork

Two images which have been on my mind lately-- applique done in 1986 by the artist Ayako Miyawaki, and ironwork from the 14th c Tomb of Cansigniorio, Verona.
The similarity is in the shapes.  I don't know the inspiration for the ironwork, but the Miyawaki is called "Burdocks", which is a thistle of many varieties that grows wild in Japan and, as it turns out, here in Texas as well. In fact, they take over the pastures behind our house every spring, growing as tall as 4'.  Even though it's everywhere, I had no idea what the plant was called until I looked it up for this post.
No coincidence that I'm attracted to the familiarity of a form I see every day-- even when it appears in two such diverse works of art.

I love, love the detail of the Miyawaki-- the overlapping shapes and patterns, and the irregular stitching on the stem...... and of course the color.
The ironwork has a rough, flat, uneven quality which is charming, and how about those little ladders in the center of each clover? Possibly a reference to death, transcendence, heaven, what-will- happen-to-my-soul? Very medieval Christianity.  In any case, I find them whimsical, which may not exactly have been the intention.

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