Paraguayan Pride

Nomadicreation hasn’t sit still. In fact, I am cycling the South American continent. When cycling is your daily task there’s little time for embroidering, but because I need to be creative, I started something.

I did so right away in Brazil where I was inspired by the leaves of the bamboo bushes. I would often camp underneath them as they hid me from the road and gave plenty of shade.

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Later on I added one other leave, I don’t know which species it is, but it’s the big solitary one in the composition. I found it in a lovely stealth camp in Paraguay.

Then I kind of lost inspiration, with the leaves embroidered on a pale cream hemp cotton, it needed more than thread alone. But what? I tried chicken feathers and thin stems of dried up leaves. None worked out.

I focused on the background instead and started to fill that in with hard pink thread. Plenty of work but I still missed the eye catcher: the filling of the bamboo leaves, and that one solitary leave.

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I ended up in Paraguay with a bunch of hunters, who were not actual hunters but did this as a pass time. However sad it is what they did, I got an idea when I saw the hides of several different animals just tossed away. They would eat the meat but ignore the hide. Day after day I saw deer hides and swine skins decay in the harsh sun.

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When I stepped on a sole deer tail, I picked it up and instantly got an idea: to fill the bamboo leaves with deer tail-hairs. Later on I wasn’t shy to cut the hairs of a swine hide and with a little stash of hairs I left the hunters and cycled on while slowly getting into my artful piece of embroidery.

As usual when you got no design or plan ready, I had to undo stitches and do it differently. It grew naturally and I instantly loved the hairs of the swine, however cruel the source.

I would start to embroider seriously when crossing into the Andes in Bolivia. It became my mental slowdown of the end of an arduous day in the mountains. A few women saw me embroidering and they admired the detailed work, and the hairs of the wild pig.

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It might clarify why I am not disgust with hair of wild animals: every time I see road kill, whether it be a fox, an anteater or bird of prey, I would stop and study its beauty up close. Usually we don’t have the opportunity to do when they are alive, and I am not repulsed by dead animals. On the other hand, eating animals the way we usually do is as derogatory as using their skins. So, as I see it, using the hairs of animals is as eating meat, and it is actually a shame to leave such skins rotting away…

As the locals do in the Altiplano of Bolivia, they use the wool of the lama, the meat and the hide. Not surprisingly, I got some lama wool too. For the next piece of art. I keep you updated…

When this piece of art is finished, it’s to be seen here, so stay tuned.

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