Caro Higgs – Horizon
I must go down to the seas again
Horizons can be physical or personal and I thought long and hard about the subject since my personal horizons have changed radically over the last eighteen months but I decided to keep to the subject, of my previous two quilts, the sea and the coastline near home. This view has the Ile de Rè on the horizon but it could equally be the Vendée region because I live in a bay and it depends upon which direction you look. The light plays tricks and sometimes the opposite coastlines seem closer than at other times. Here the outline of houses of the Ile de Ré become visible but not clear but one imagines what one knows to be there. On the other hand if one stands in the centre of town near the old port of La Rochelle, a fifteen minute drive from here, there is a weather vane on the clock tower which becomes the near horizon, complete with a ship sailing with the wind.
I have turned to poetry and pulled the piece together with a verse from John Masefield’s poem Sea Fever, the first line talks of the lonely seas and the sky which after all form the horizon so I wanted to use it as the basis for the work, grey skies, a tall ship and the white sails shaking in the wind.
The background is hand painted and simply, machine, quilted. Using the weather vane gave me the details I wanted and it is appliquéd with two commercial fabrics for the ship and the supporting metalwork and damask for the sails to add more depth to them. It is bound with the same cotton calico as the background and it is completely machine stitched. The wording is printed on to organza, again machine appliquéd, and forms the clouds in the sky.
Detail showing the print and the horizon