Caro Higgs – Rhythm and Blues
R & B, rhythm and blues was, for me, an obvious choice but one which evolved as I worked on it. Painted on cotton with appliquéd musical symbols and people, machine embroidery and perle cotton couched by machine it has developed its own personal story.
The roots of Rhythm and Blues are strong in the southern states of America and which in turn have their roots in African music. I looked for a song which represented the rhythm and fell upon the Animals’ song ‘House of the rising sun’. This is a track which I love and which has various different versions. It would seem that the ‘House of the rising sun’ was actually a brothel in New Orleans, which in turn is a city with a big contingent who have African roots and therefore the rhythm of their ancestors.
So, having found the music for ‘House of the rising sun’, I took the first line of the music, (written by Alan Price) as the base for my picture. As there is rhythm the lines could not be straight so I painted the background in a rhythm of blue wavy lines before adding the distorted music, which is the first line of the song. To help decipher the music there is the rising sun above the blue waves, which in their turn represent the sea which divides the people of New Orleans from Africa and their roots, and of course the other side of the sea there are the rhythmic African ladies dancing.
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