Paradisaea's competition piece
(Competition of Babywearing Weavers Finland 2017)
"Untamed" was honoured with the 1st position in the competition.
Warp: Mercerised cotton, hand painted by Paradisaea
Weft: Intense warp purple pima cotton, hand dyed by Paradisaea
502 x 73 cm STIH
About 288 g/m2
“I will not be another flower,
picked for my beauty and left to die.
I will be wild,
hard to find,
and impossible to forget."
- Erin Van Vuren
You might have met one of them somewhere. Those people who just seem to… dance to their own tune. Or simply dance, in places where others usually don’t. It might be that they never really walk at all, actually, they more like dance around - almost not heeding their surroundings at all. They are the people who look like that they hear music all the time.
You usually notice them quite fast. They seem to somehow stand out, although they might not intend to. They just… do not blend in. They sort of never disappear. Maybe it’s the strong contrast of their being in relation to the background, maybe it’s the way they seem to be woolgathering all the time, listening to some funny jokes others haven’t even heard, like they’re having the most enjoyable conversation inside their heads.
They are the ones who mesmerize you. If you get a chance to examine them from a distance before they notice you - it may be enthralling. They just are somehow so vivid, in constant movement, they somehow pulsate and vibrate and emit a something you cannot quite put your finger on but you know it’s good. That is, if you have the same something in you.
Others may think them disturbing. The way they sometimes speak to themselves. Or the way they look at you straight in the eye longer than you are accustomed to. Or the way they don’t seem to care - or that is what it might look like to someone who thinks differently. They may sit on the fence and swing their legs on a public place or hop on the pavement stones even though they’re grown ups or they may say things you find unnerving - they’re the ones who may ask questions you are not used to hearing, and certainly not used to answering. They can be unnerving, these people. They shake the norms. They simply do not comply. And it’s not so much about them not choosing to comply. It can be that - some of them are determined rebels. And others just simply ARE something and so much more that they kind of always flow over the cookie cutter they are offered.
They know usually how to behave themselves - when they have to. But afterwards they walk out of the building and start singing to themselves again.
They’re the fierce ones. The ones who live in dreamlands. The ones who still believe in dreamlands. They’re the ones who speak up. They are the ones who say aloud what needs to be said. They are the ones who do what needs to be done. They are the ones who still see what’s true and live accordingly, simply refusing to buy into the so-called normality, or what is generally thought of true if it’s not true anymore.
They’re the ones with red hair. Red, not auburn. Red, inwardly or outwardly. Fierce, in fire, the ones who won’t take the half of the world but go for all of it. The passionate ones. The ones who won’t reduce their hearts just because it’s customary to do so. The ones who live with a full heart.
They’re the untamed ones
the ones who still are wild and free.
They’re the ones whose souls show on their faces. The ones whose eyes show what’s inside.
The challenging ones.
The wonderful ones.
The inspiration picture for the competition was a pic from a fall forest. I reacted first to the vibrant red colour of the trees. Fierce, burning. Then I started to think about the Great Wild Outdoors in general, and how Henry David Thoreau has said that “all good things are wild and free”.
It was the time when I was reading trough the Anne of Green Gables series, and it maybe was inevitable that it all merged into one thought in my head. Anne’s invincible spirit and the wild and free reds of the inspiration picture, the thought of the authentic wilderness out there and the thought of the authentic wilderness that some people still carry in themselves… I started to think about things that are untamed. Tameless. That cannot be tamed. The red-headed people, the red headed trees of the fall, all the things that are wild, free and good. Things that are what they were meant to be. People who are what they were meant to be.
Out of these thoughts I designed the competition warp, giving it the name “Wildflowers”. I gave it a story that speaks of tamelessness - a story that celebrates the people who are wild and free. The challenging, lovely ones. And I decided it shall speak of all of us too who want to be that - even if we don't always have the courage. It's in all of us, that tamelessness. The fierceness. It's there, down there, and we can dig it up again. I wanted the wrap to speak of the dream of good wilderness in all of us; somehow encouraging the good rebellion.
Evoking a longing for fierce freedom... That's what it Anne did to me.
The competition piece got the name “Untamed”. The sister to Untamed is called "Sassy". She deserves her own story, however; something that you can read here.