garden dreams

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

flower garden tapestries

Magic night. I attended a lecture at the manuscript museum, a rather odd, out of the way place, hidden treasure where a woman I know was giving a presentation about floral elements in Middle Eastern rugs. My interpretation was about flowers showing up everywhere. It reminded me of years ago working on my master's when I was searching all the Ravenna mosaics for evidence of pomegranets. Here, too, pomegranets showed up, along with stylized tulips, cypress trees, iris and other botanical elements. It was a gardener's interpretation instead of a botanists and that worked for me because then it became a game of finding the sometimes obscure flower motifs in the carpets.
tree form, vase, fantastic botanical images emerging from urns. Flat weaving and more linear meant fewer knots, more curvilinear acomplex designs were a product of more and smaller knots. My mind was filled with visions of cockle bells and tulip mania, all having originated in turkey, the 40th parallel where tulips grow wild.
After the talk we walked through a barely thawed slice of night to a reception in the conservatory eerily lit from within by strategically placed spotlights nestled among the plants. Passing through the doors and the most impressive tapestry of all was revealed. Cyclamen, candelabra primroses, tulips, azaleas, amarilllis and orchids woven among the tropical greenery, layered pink, red, fuschia, white salmon, cerise, scented colors entwined with shocking contrasts. A pocket of magic woven from the past and present, the history of humans and flowers inseperable one from the other.