A N C E S T R A L H U E S
My forefathers' lives as colour schemes
I have a family tree going back to the early 16th century. The exact birth and death dates are known for ten generations. (To be clear: Only of the forefathers – of their wives there is often no more left than a name.)
For this work, I used a yarn that just happens to exist in 100 different shades, i.e. as many shades as there are years in a century. I assigned each shade a number (i.e. a year) between 00 and 99 as follows:
00-09: whites, 10-19: purples, 20-29: browns, 30-39: reds, 40-49: oranges, 50-59: yellows, 60-69: greens, 70-79: turquoises, 80-89: blues, 90-99: blacks.
For example the year 52 is assigned to neon yellow. Which means that everyone who lived in the year 52 in their respective century has neon yellow included in their colour scheme.
The number of stitches per year, and thus per colour, remains constant throughout. Therefore, the longer the life, the greater the colour diversity and the larger the stitched area.
The resulting colour scheme gives each life its own hue. Each hue is a glimpse into the past. No one alive can know their own hue.
(Embroidered cotton on my grannies’ handwoven dowry linen, 10 works from 43 x 37 cm to 46 x 41 cm, embroideries from 25 x 12 cm to 25 x 20 cm, 2022)
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