Saturday, 19 May 2007

Rites of Passage

I didn't get time to stitch today, but I did do some more planning work on the Rites of Passage piece. Like everything else, it's due on 2 Jun. I'd already decided on the image of the fale, to represent our time living in Samoa. It's such an archetypical Polynesian image! But I wanted to do more to represent how living in that country changed me, and why this image is representative of a rite of passage. I played with adding words and adapting the image in various ways, but I wasn't happy with anything I came up with. Finally, I had a brain wave. The Samoan image does not have to be the whole 6in square. Incredible! I had adapted the original 6in x 4in image to a square, but I could use overlays, strips, anything around it. (Sometimes things are so obvious, once you've gone all round the gardens!)

I finally decided I wanted to emphasise the sense of passage, of change, which is what the time in Samoa means to me. Doorways! But what kind of doorway? There are practical difficulties, as most everyday doorways are tall and skinny. I'll need a special sort of doorway, then. I hunted through our photos (and with two photographers in the family, these are not few), until I found this image of an archway in Richmond Castle in England.


I cropped and played with the image in PhotoPaint, to leave me just the archway. I superimposed the result onto my fale image.


I like the juxtaposition of a very European doorway on an island scene, which expresses some of the dissonance I felt living in a third world country, in an alien culture. It's hard to set aside your assumptions, that western worldview, and see what is really happening around you. At the same time, instead of being in the dominant cultural tradition as you are at home, you are the outsider, the palagi. It gave me a huge understanding of what it is like to be the outsider, the migrant, the one who is different, in our own culture.

5 comments:

sue :-) said...

Absolutely great what you've done with the image(s) .... the thoughts behind it and how you carried it out.

You're really creative in a lot of different ways Nola ..... it's really good. Congrats!

Laurel-li said...

This is highly shiny! I'm glad you worked out what you wanted to do for the challenge. Go team you!

Dianne said...

Hey Nola
What a great brain wave that was, the picture looks fantastic with the doorway. Brilliant job Missy...

MargaretR said...

The idea of the passage has worked out really well. I love all your work, the Heartland postcard is wonderful.

Tonniece said...

Love the archway, and the feeling of joining the two cultures. Great piece.