Pages and Books > Current Work 2018–2019

Drawing of Japanese Boro
Drawing of Japanese Boro
Pen & Ink, Gouache, Pencil
5" x 8"
2018

German Romanticism (1800–1850), Japonisme (began 1860s) and Art Nouveau (1890–1910) were intertwined. Nature (plant-inspired motifs) and beauty were at their core. I have completed 25 drawings of Japanese Boro, the rags and tatter of Northern Japan. The way these dirt poor Japanese farmers pieced together the fabric of everyday life reminds me of how many people's lives are held together by a thread, as they migrate across the sea to distant lands. The new replaces the old in this indigo blue dyed fabric stitched with white thread. It wasn't until 1892 that the railway brought the first cotton to the poverty stricken northern part of Honshu where people had only clothes made of stiff hemp cloth. This was the same time as Art Nouveau was sweeping Europe and America. In their own ways, each manifested beauty in everyday life. These are studies for an upcoming wearable cloth project that will be part of our Blue & White exhibit.