ABS Challenge: June

June 14, 2011 § 10 Comments

I can’t believe I’ve actually managed to complete the Art Bead Scene June challenge before the end of the month! Wowsers.

Here was the original inspiration:

Ophelia by Odilon Redon, c. 1900-1905

I blogged about some of the colour palette ideas I had and then I promptly didn’t decide to use any of them, instead going for the murkier, darker colours of the painting. I wanted to concentrate on the strong lines of the painting, which I think I did, and also I did include some mixed media to echo the different textures and swirling imagery of the plants, Ophelia, and the pond. What also came to mind with this painting, and with the idea of woman, melancholia, and a sort of lovesick-madness, was the Dusty Springfield song, Windmills of Your Mind.

I’ve always loved this song as it so succintly captures the twisting, turning, out-of-reach revolutions of unrequited or lost love, and it sprang to mind as soon as I saw the circular, spiralling lines in the Ophelia painting. It was quite hard to photography with the transparent pieces and different textures so apologies for the not-very-good overall photo!

This is another one of those pieces, like the May ABS bracelet, that I’m very pleased with and feel it really reflects me and my personal style – quite eclectic but tied together in unusual ways. The art beads are the large teal-coloured ceramic dimpled round in the centre, the small duck-egg blue ceramic round to the left, both by White Clover Kiln; the white and translucent yellow-coloured glass disc hanging as a central charm, from HMB Studios; and the small mustardy coloured polymer clay charm at the bottom which I made as an experiment and happened to go exactly right with the colour scheme.

Since I’ve been making lots of beadwoven jewellery lately, it also seemed wrong not to include a seed-bead item even though I know they don’t count as art beads! Other beads are: yellow agate donut, white shell charm, matt black lucite drop, teal-grey acrylic donut, 1960s brass and black stone charm, yellow wooden cube beads, matt teal and metallic-grey seed beads, and antique gold findings and chain. It’s a short necklace because the drops are so long and it means the textures get shown off to their best effect. There’s also a lot of movement in the piece which was designed to echo the dynamic of the painting.

It’s called ‘The Ever-Spinning Reel’, taken from the Dusty Springfield song and evocative of the tangled madness of Ophelia and Odilon Redon’s dramatic, winding portrayal of her.

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half-forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream
…Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Check out the rest of the June ABS Challenge entrants in the Flickr pool here.


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