In Monet’s ‘Snow Effect, Giverny’ (1892-93) winter has brought life to a standstill. This is, however only one moment captured in time. The C16th poem ‘Quhy Sowld Nocht Allane Honorit Be’, recounts the life of Allane – the personification of barley, and ultimately, ale. He is born, emerging from the ground, reaches youth ‘clad in green with his hair around his eyes’ before being cut down in his prime and a new journey begins.
The earth turns, the seasons change and Monet’s wintry scene will pass, for now at least. Like Allane, we too have summers and winters – both physically and emotionally.
Just as I can feel the snow against my face in ‘Snow effect’, this piece references being surrounded by summer trees. Bathing in and celebrating the height of the year before the wheel continues to turn.
The swirling motion, capturing the turning of the year, explores the juxtaposition of a spontaneous doodle, and the 350 hours taken to re-create it in stitch. The medieval ecclesiastical technique of ‘Or Nue is reinterpreted by replacing gold and silk threads with earthy leather, cotton and linen – honouring nature not deity.