Caro Higgs – Photoshoot

Shadows of the past

Inspiration:  In this area where I live it was mussels which helped to form the character of the area, and which still exist in the shallow waters of the bay today

I have stayed with my theme of my coastline but moved away from the ‘carrelets’ with their high water shrimp nets which line sections of the coastline. There are many ‘bouchots’ (oak poles upon which mussels develop) out in the bay barely visible at high tide but which come in their own when the tide goes out. Today mechanical means are used for transporting the mussels but that wasn’t always the case. This image is a reminder of bygone times and the hardships endured working in wet and cold conditions. This image is on an information board along the coastal path, the quality isn’t great but the shadowy outline of those working and posing in front of the camera makes it easy to imagine how difficult the work was.

I printed my photograph on to voile which I then placed on a hand painted cotton background, I added additional fabric under the clothing to add some slight colour. The whole was then machine stitched with synthetic threads to give a slight watery glisten. The banks of mussels were hand stitched to give texture to the piece, the stitching was deliberately slightly loose. I left the figures as almost shadows to keep an an anonymous feel to the photograph not wanting the intrusion which can arise from photo shoots. I feel that the colours are very subdued but then images of that age were often in sepia…

Photoshoot: shadows of the past

Detail showing the hand and machine stitching:

details: Photoshoot; shadows of the past

  1. Caro, what a complex scene you have created, printing on voile…please share. The colour choice of fabrics give me the feeling of how it must have been in the past. Love your attention to detail in the quilting and embellishment.

  2. Love your coastline series and a many different angles e on this. Exquisite detail work!

  3. Very interesting interpretation of Photoshoot ! I like how you “gave life” to the caracters by adding fabrics under the voile for their clothing ! As usual hand stitching and details are perfect !

  4. Lots of texture… Love it, great job capturing the spirit of old times.

  5. joanbrailsford

    I love the way you have evoked a bygone time and an old photographic scene. The colours are just right and the detail gives texture and life to the working scene. A really well thought out and well worked piece.

  6. This is very atmospheric and captures the bygone age well. The dense stitching really adds so much to the overall image.

  7. Like Kaylene I am very interested how you printed on the voile. This is a wonderful addition to your coastline series. Lovely texture and your meticulous stitching always add so much to the piece. Bravo.

  8. What a clever idea to print on voile. I love your quilting and embellishing. The colors are just right to remind the past.

  9. You caught the picture so well. I can imagine the information board, affected by weather and wind, showing the past… love everything in it, the print on voile, the fabric you put underneath, the stitching, just beautiful!

  10. Beautiful work that accurately reports the hard life of those times. Attentive to detail and perfectly hand-stitched. The addition of coloured fabrics underclothes is well found. It reminds me of the old black and white postcards that at in a certain time were coloured by hand. I love it.

  11. studiociboulette

    I love your quilt. The old foto look is so well accomplished. I love your attention for details. Your quilting is absolutely beautiful. Bravo.

  12. Wow, I love the multiple layers in your quilt and the story behind the images! Your attention to detail addslife to your piece.

  13. Very interesting interpretation of Photoshoot. Lots of texture and multiple layers. Nice attention to detail.

  14. You have captured the hardships of working in cold, wet conditions in the olden days. Such detail, texture and meticulous stitching. Well done Caro!

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