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  • Writer's pictureDionne Swift

The wilder side of 50@50

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

In this current series of blog posts I'm offering a deeper insight into my 50@50 collection: developed in 2019 for my 50th year.

For this mini collective I've drawn together 3 landscape pieces, 2 from the Italian landscape the other from Morocco.

Monte Pallano Path No 24 50@50 It was another scorching day and I'd taken a summer school group up to Monte Pallano [approx 1000m above sea level] to find a cooler breeze and some fresh air. Monte Pallano sits above Tornareccio in souther/central Italy, about 30 mins from the Adriatic coast. There's an archeological dig site, which has unearthed a pre-Roman settlement and a vast megalithic wall. The area offers great vistas of the surrounding area' especially across to the turquoise waters of Lago di Bomba.

I'd checked the group were all ok, busy and inspired, then a grabbed a few moments to myself. I worked with Caran d'ache neo-colours, but it was so hot they were melting onto the page, resulting in a thick heavily textured composition, difficult to recognise in the molten media. The drawing is then reflected in my heavy textural stitches and choice of threads. It's fast, spontaneous, no time to dwell else it will melt away - the stitches the same. More Information...

Ourika Valley No 8 50@50 Morocco just south of Marrakesh and surprisingly not as warm as you might think! We were escaping the bustle of the city and exploring the local landscape with our taxi driver/guide for the day. Morocco was great food for the eyes - so very different to anywhere I'd been before. This valley was greener than I expected and the Ourika river kept it fresh and vibrant. Restaurants and tourist shops had popped up along the banks with colourful seating and canopies. This composition uses the driving perspective that you see in many of my pieces. This dynamic construction takes you into the heart of the setting. The speedy sweeping movement of the stitches reflects the gusts of air along the valley, the pace of the rushing river and the energy of the life in the valley. More Information ...

Pallano Path No 42 50@50 this is the same day as no 24 above [I didn't stitch the pieces in the order I drew!] Here, I'm in roughly the same position on the pathway, but I've twirled round 180 degrees and I'm looking in the opposite direction [plus I've edged in the the shade, just a tad]. I'm so happy with the pace and energy in this piece - not only is the composition dynamic, with it's strong lines of perspective shooting your attention along the path to the centre, but the dashes and flicks of bright red bring sparks of life to this bubbling landscape. More Information...

You can see more of the 50@50 Collection HERE. 2 pieces will be exhibited at Art of Embroidery Bankside Gallery, London 22-27th February 2022 Exhibition details

This is the second in my 50@50 mini series Read 50 in depth

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