Saturday, 12 September 2015

Work in Progress: Tamsin Abbott (part 1)

Above you see a practice piece for elements of Tamsin Abbott's completed glove.

Best known for her beautifully illustrated work in glass, a few months into the project Tamsin changed course with her piece and decided that she'd give herself up to the challenge of alternative materials and techniques. The material you see here is lime bark bast. Fibrous, papery and delicate, a potentially challenging choice.
Having explored and then rejected her early topics of interest, such as found diaries and family connections, Tamsin's love of literature finally won and an idea began to shape around Ovid's story of 'Apollo and Daphne'.

During the project elements of the story of Apollo and Daphne have surfaced among the artists in different forms. Here follows a brief outline of the story for those unfamiliar with it.

The god Apollo had teased Eros about his abilities as an archer, stating that the small stature of his arrows meant that they would be weak and ineffectual. Eros, angered by this, shot two arrows. Each had been dipped; one in gold, the other, made blunt, in lead. The gold tipped arrow would impart an insatiable lust in whoever it pierced. The lead tipped arrow would impart an abhorrence of passion and thus struck, that person would have no interest in love. On firing, the gold tipped arrow hit Apollo and the other pierced Daphne, daughter of the river god, Peneus. 
Thus ensued an unwelcome pursuit of Daphne by Apollo. Daphne ran from him endlessly and finally growing weary, feared that he'd catch her. In an act of desperation she reached a river and called to her father for help. Peneus took pity on her and, with the gift of transformation which the river gods possessed, transformed Daphne into a laurel tree. Her arms became slim branches and her legs took root just as Apollo reached her. Still enamoured with her, Apollo used his powers to turn Daphne into an evergreen and declared that her leaves would adorn the heads of heroes and leaders and would never decay. 
Daphne, revered.