It’s a curse that the academic year comes to a close in the summer. Sure, it’s great that we then get to frolick around in the sun for six weeks or so- but leading up to that frolicking time, we have to just sit inside and sigh wistfully at the sun and the daisies and the joy whilst we stay indoors bored out of our minds.
It’s impossible to work in such conditions. Especially when friends invite you to fun things that you simply cannot say no to. I love my friends. I’ve just experienced what is posssibly the best weekend ever, but now I have to face up to the fact that my deadline is soon, and my work is not finished.
The project that I’m working on is a topic I’ve chosen myself. For the pretentious title, I chose “Beatific Visions” and for the brief I basically said I had to study the Christian Religion and discuss my own beliefs and create appropriate imagery based on traditional stuff to support my faith. Or something. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. And I still don’t. And I guess that’s the fun.
A little while back I bought a small wooden hinged shrine wotsit from a charity shop for 25p. On one side of the wotsit was a painting of God, with a book that I presumed to be a bible. Across from him was the BVM and their son, Jesus Christ. I decided to remake this for my project. This time, I wanted it to be more believable- more human. No pretty, demure looking women or ever powerful men.
I put myself in place of Jesus (Well, why not?) and represented myself by using an image from the story of St Rosa. She, the patron saint of embroiderers (No, really) was said to be seen by a servant as a baby, with her head transformed into a mystical rose. So there you go. Jesus with a rose for a head = me.
And the mother? That’s John Fowler. He’s a tutor at college. He really encouraged me this year and has been my rock. Without him I’d surely have gone mad, and I doubt I’d have stuck the year out or at least certainly not got to where I am now.
God. My God, challenge and a half. Choosing who wasn’t so bad- I just had to look for someone who I basically believed or agreed with every word they ever said. Who I trusted, someone who I thought was good and honest, who made sense of things for me… and who I unequivocally swear by. Even better, someone who writes books. That little wooden wotsit of mine has a book in it, remember? So. Who else could I go for but Kurt Vonnegut. I read Slaughterhouse Five in 2007 and I’ve never looked back. He’s a Humanist too, and famous for it. So there’s humour in that too. Embroidering Vonnegut as God, something he couldn’t possibly believe in.
Vonnegut’s got one of those faces that is impossible to capture. He’s come out looking way more stern than I’d have liked, but according to my mother (with no prompting) it looks like him. Despite the fact I have one of those wonderful wash away embroidery pens, I had no choice but to embroider Vonnegut by eye, because embroidery pen just wasn’t cutting it.
To finish off I had to figure out what words would go in Vonnegut’s bible. At the time I was deciding, I was sat watching Britain’s Got Talent (don’t judge me!) and couldn’t be bothered going to find some books to scan through. So I just scanned my memory for some of his more philosophical moments. And here it is, the Tralfamadorian view on time;
Sigh. Back to work now.