Our priest asked me to create a banner for the church, and provided some examples of a Nestorian cross, examples of which have been found in the Gulf, and since our church is a church in the Gulf, he thought it would be fitting.
I really wrestled with it for over a year. I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Finally, I threw up my hands, prayed for God to use my hands, and just got started. Honestly, I had no idea when I began how it would finish up.
I started by drafting a very large circle on freezerpaper. I found a piece of fabric that made my heart sing for the background – a sea-life batik, and it was perfect for Kuwait, with the ancient traditions of fishing and pearling. I added a layer of net that catches the light here and there, like the sparkle of the sun on the waves.
Then, I segmented the circle, and gathered up all my neutral silks and beaded and embroidered neutrals, hoping to get a stone mosaic effect for the circle around the cross, and I liked the effect so much, I decided to mosaic the cross, too, to get a more elemental and carved feeling.
While in the original, the circle around the cross comes out from the cross, in my version, the circle is separate.
For something that took me so long . . . meaning the thinking about it took so long – I actually had a lot of fun when I started working on it.
For me, the richness and textures of the fabrics bring to mind the richness and infinite variety of the population here, the rich brew that develops when cultures cross, mix, trans-pollinate – isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing?