Thursday, April 9, 2009

Biblical Proportions Show: St. John the Baptist

(click image to enlarge)
All the Girls Wept Tears of Pure Love / St. John the Baptist
(Jordan Lee)

hand-embroidery and sequins on cotton panel, 18" x 20"

My embroidered version of the classical theme of St. John the Baptist's head on a platter is now finished. I was inspired to do this piece last fall while in Paris, seeing all the paintings of this theme repeated again and again. When Michael Schliefke approached me last December asking if I'd like to contribute to his "Biblical Proportions" show I gave an enthusiastic yes. I knew it would commit me to creating this piece. All artists were invited to pick a story from the Bible and create a work based on it. The model for the piece is Sublime Stitching's fulfillment manager, Jordan Lee.

About the Bible story: (Matthew 14:6 - 8) King Herod had John killed at the request of his step-daughter, Salomé, after she performed the "Dance of the Seven Veils" for him on the occasion of his birthday. He was so delighted by her dance, he said he would give her anything she wished. After consulting her mother for what to ask, she said "Bring me the head of John the Baptist."

About the piece: Jordan was a perfect model for this piece, looking very much like I imagine John the Baptist did: an innocent, wild-boy. Because John baptized Jesus in the river of Jordan, I incorporated Jordon's own name into the composition. I called it "All the girls cried tears of pure love" because Jordan is also a (very talented) musician and I liked the idea of merging the rock-star adoration with mourning his / John's death. On a side note, Jordan's sister is the well-known latch-hook rug artist, and my good friend, Whitney Lee.

This work will be on display for two days only, as part of the New Testament leg of the show. Full information for this weekend's show is on the exhibitions page, and also on the Biblical Proportions site.

You can also see images of this piece from start to finish here.