Saturday, 9 February 2013

Catching birds and 'letting go'

I haven't done any 'meaningful' textile work since Kiama passed away, my head was just not in the right place for it. I did however felt the need to do some creative therapy. Something 'textily' which doesn't involve much of my brain. So over the summer I started to do some crochet. I love doing crochet. Well you would do, wouldn't you, if you like me managed to crochet about 10 metres of café curtains during night shifts as a nurse in the 70's? 


I can't show the curtains any more, but I still have the booklet with the pattern in it.

 

 And this gives an idea of how they looked.

Anyway I wanted to do something more modern and trailed the internet and found this lovely bird pattern  by Lucy on her colourful blog Attic24.


So I made several of these little birdies with cute dangly legs and buttons.


They are hanging now from some wrapped and decorated branches from another, earlier project, which I will tell about another time. The branches are in a vase on the diner table and give a continues happy and colourful display, especially during those dark days and when we don't have real flowers in the house.



Initially I wasn't aware of why I chose to make birds, apart from the fact that they looked cute, but then I realised that somehow they symbolised a kind of ascension. Kiama 'flying up and away', to other realms perhaps...  Interestingly Ilana, my eldest, had started to doodle birds at the same time, so we also wondered if these birds were symbolising a part of our grieving process. Another layer of 'letting go'.

This brings me to another story. Just a couple of weeks before Kiama fell ill she phoned me one day with the question: "Mum, do you have any suggestions on how to catch a bird? I want to catch a bird and then let it go." She told me that it was for a short film, she wanted to make for an art competition, in which she wanted to present the concept of 'letting go'.  Oh the irony of this, as we keep on seeing the signs.... with hind-sight!
Anyway, I never heard anything more about this project until after her death, when one of her friends posted a very short video on her Facebook wall. It showed Kiama laughing and cautiously trying to catch some pigeons at the market place in Norwich. We later also found some journal writing about it and some sketches of birds flying of bicycles.


Responding to her half-Dutch roots Kiama had a love for bicycles and cycling. Many of her art, social and uni projects had to do with bikes. So the sketch on the right is there for even more striking, with the fallen bike and the bird flying up to the sky, especially when you know that it is the last proper sketch in her latest sketchbook!



17 comments:

Gina said...

I have read every word you have written on your blog so far... and it is wonderful. So very "you". Don't stop now that you have taken the plunge. I will link to you in a future blog post very soon and hope that you will get lots of new visitors!

Toffeeapple said...

Hello Catherina, I am a regular reader of Fan my Flame and since Gina has included a link to your new blog, I thought that I would take a look and I find that I like what you have written. I shall put you on my Google Reader list so that I miss nothing.

It is so sad that you have had to deal with the loss of your daughter and I extend my sympathy to you and your family.

Twiglet said...

Just popped over from Gina's blog. What a very positive and inspiring post - your little birds are lovely. Thanks for sharing.x Jo

Pomona said...

Just discovered your blog via Gina's link - I am so sorry that your blog has arisen out of such a profound grief but I hope that you find that writing helps, and that you continue with it - you write very well and movingly.

Pomona x

dandelion dreamer said...

Hello Catherina! I have popped over from Gina's blog to say hello. I LOVE those colourful birds you have made....Kiama would be so very proud of you. Thank you for sharing your tragic story of losing your beautiful, imaginative, creative girlie at such a tender age. She was clearly very talented. Those sketches are superb. Much love to you and may this year turn out to be a new beginning for you. Moira xx

Lyn said...

Just popped over from Gina's blog. What a beautiful blog post. I look forward to reading more.
xxx

Heather said...

I too have come from Gina's blog. I love your crochet birds - what a lovely way to brighten up a room while we wait for spring to arrive. Your posts are fascinating and very thought provoking.

Julie said...

Welcome to the world of blogging,you are going to fit right in! I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter but you have some very special memories and I hope you find sharing your inspirations here is enriching. I love your idea for brightening these dark winter days, the birds are lovely.

Jill said...

Just a visit via Gina, but I'm sure I shall be coming again. What a moving story you have to tell. Looking forward to sharing your creative talents and welcome.

chrissythreads said...

Welcome to Blogland Catherina! Looking forward to visiting regularly. See you soon

Ali said...

Hi Catherina - Gina's link pointed me over to you. I understand the urge for 'creative therapy' as you so well explained it. And I hope your new blogging venture brings you much pleasure - it's already a treat to read your words.

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Hi Catherina, I' ve just popped over from Gina's, welcome to blogland!
Best wishes, I hope it helps you heal.
Vivienne x

ANNA said...

Hi I too have come to visit via GIna's blog. welcome to the blogging world and please share more of your thoughts and works. You are in our hearts already.

Beacee said...

Hi, another visitor via Gina's blog. Thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful daughter's work. I lost a young friend of a similar age a couple of years ago and still count myself blessed to have known her. I think your daughter too is such a blessing.


Barbara x

dottycookie said...

I'm here from Gina's blog too, and very glad I followed her link. I am greatly enjoying your writing and am subscribing to your blog feed so I can keep up with you. Thank you for sharing your daughter's artwork - the bicycle and bird images are so very striking.

Robin Mac said...

I am so glad I found you through Gina's blog, you are now in my list of favourites. How very sad that you have lost your daughter, but how inspirational that you can share some of her work with everyone. I love your crocheted birds. Cheers

stickyfingers said...

i love the little birds and the thoughts that go with them - the colours are so you!

your blog is for you to use as you wish, i hope it brings you what you want from it .... and more