My friend Gill pointed me in the direction of the National Needlework Archive website when I was looking for the book about the WI Textile Treasures exhibition she was recently involved in stewarding. While there, I noticed the call for entries for their second Poetry in Stitches competition, and I sent for a copy of the book and registration details. Despite a fairly short time until the deadline, I found the poem quoted below. It spoke to me loud and clear and I felt such sympathy with the sentiments that I decided to enter an interpretation of it in textiles.
I am a doormat,
I'm brown and homespun
But my welcome's worn off.
I'm tired of taking it all lying down,
I bristle when I'm beaten.
Deep in the fibres of my being
I dream of becoming a thick-piled rug,
Fluffy and frivolous
On which seductions take place.
I'm going to let my hair down
So just watch your step.
(posted with the author's kind permission).
Making the piece was an interesting process. I knew that I wanted to create a sense of the hidden, sensuous dream/heart bursting from the worn, abused surface of the doormat. Gill very kindly lent me her Embellisher to work the doormat, which wore so successfully that it needed reinforcement. Then I used rugmaking techniques to work the piled portion. Fabric paints and stitching were used to increase the distressed and discoloured effect of the doormat surface. At last, it was complete and posted off to Southampton. Judging takes place next month and then the entries go on tour in exhibition, venues to be announced.
Daphne Schiller has graciously allowed me to Blog her wonderful poem, which is not published at present. Other examples of her work can be found, she tells me, at the
Poetry Library site, and poetry magazines such as South and Equinox. This one may appear in a Poetry in the Waiting Room leaflet and/or exhibition in conjunction with my interpretation of it. Wish me luck!