Caro Higgs – Country – Architecture
Inspired by a photograph I took years ago while visiting the Kalash valleys.
Continuing with my series in the north-west of Pakistan the idea of architecture as we know it is one that doesn’t really exist. The Kalash villages are in three valleys which create the frontier with Afghanistan, they are in the very beautiful Hindu-Kush mountains and houses tend to built on steep slopes leaving the flatter land for subsistence agriculture. The houses are basic and dark, one person’s roof becomes another’s terrace and there are steep paths or tree trunks with steps carved into them which serve as ladders leading between them. With my big feet I found them fairly difficult to negotiate! The buildings are made with rock, mud and stones within a basic wooden structure. There is little decoration although some of the supporting pillars are carved or shaped.
I started by painting a very basic landscape and then I placed dyed jemima fabric ( a slub silk/cotton mix) over the top and hand-stitched mainly with chain stitch to build the buildings. When they were all completed I cut away the sections which were not buildings and let the landscape show through. There are then appliquéd rocks which are machine stitched. I tried to make the subject of architecture the most dominant part of the quilt so I paid less detail to the other surroundings.