13 January 2015

Drawing on Tuesdays - last week's work

This week it's the Museum of London - and last week we were in the Japanese gallery at the British Museum. There was a slight interruption when the volunteer guide went round inviting people to join the short tour of some highlights in the gallery - it would have been churlish to refuse, and indeed it was interesting to hear about two different Buddhist statues, and the expulsion of foreigners, except for the Dutch East India Company trading out of a tiny island, among others. The guide even recommended "further reading" - The Thousand Autumns of Jakob de Zoet, and Hokkaido Highway Blues.

Then, back to the drawing. I'd settled down in front of two ritual bells from the Yayoi period (300BC - 300AD), the larger of which I'd used in my first ever journal quilt (2007) ... which leads to another diversion ... the search for a photo of it led, via pinterest, to the Little Gems website, where I discovered many A4-sized quilts I'd forgotten I'd made ... but no "Temple Bell"! (After some time searching I thought to look on my website, where all JQs since 2007 are immortalised.)
Then - and now - I was intrigued by the holes that let the sound out.
 The patterning is subtle, and corroded in places, as well it might be, after about 2000 years! -
 Eventually a drawing emerged (water soluble graphite) -
Next, a collection of haniwa figures, starting with a warrior with gauntlets (and only half a hairstyle) -
and adding a lady with an elaborate coiffure and a large figure of a chieftan with an elaborate hairstyle, from the Kofun period. The figures date to about 500AD -
Haniwa are tomb figures, set outside the tomb. Their simplified form gives visibility from a distance. What draws me to them is the dark, cut-out slits of eyes and mouth. See lots more - including modern ones, and [alas] plush toys, here.

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