Beijing Filter

This piece was created during my time as an artist in residence in Beijing, China, and it shows the suburb of QingYun on a particularly ‘foggy’ day in March. Before coming to Beijing, of course I heard people talk about the pollution and the smog and I knew about it, but what surprised me was how much you suddenly start looking at the sky. Back home(even though we have our share of air and particularly light pollution too!)I look at the sky to see if any rain’s going to fall out of it, and that’s pretty much it, but in Beijing I looked at the sky all the time, to see how the smog was that day, what it would feel like to go outside. On days with a lot of smog but also sunlight, there would be this orange golden glow over the landscape, like a filter, almost fairytale like and beautiful, as the sun is struggling to get through. This light inspired me to create this needlepointing, which I intended to be both beautiful and unnerving.

It’s a miniature work, but it is my largest embroidery to date! The embroidery measures 14.4 by 10 cm and is created with silk threads as fine as a hair. It’s embroidered on sturdy cotton fabric and finished with a white passepartout on wood. The full piece measures 35 by 30.5 cm.

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