Alexandrite at sunset/sunrise, 2019
Hand-knotted rug. Wool and silk.
At the time when the last candles in the Russian Far East are burning out, the Moscow River still bathes in afternoon sunlight. The gemstone Alexandrite, discovered in 1830 right in the middle of Russia - in the south Ural – changes its colour from reddish purple in the daylight to the bluish green in the candlelight.
The work explores the ability of our vision to deal with so-called impossible colours, such as greenish-red or reddish-green that cannot be perceived in normal seeing of light.
Unlike painting, the rug making technique allows to put together opposing colours of yarn without literally mixing them as it would be in the case of the paints. Combining yarns gives a literal blend of green and red without getting muddy brown as a result.
Apart from colour, this work embodies the experience of chronos - an extremely slow and orderly passage of time in the hands of Moirai – the spinning goddesses of fate. At the time when unhurried handwork is outsourced to machines and the unprivileged, it reminds us of the ‘doing hand’ as the necessary complement of ‘seeing eye’ in all processes involving thinking and making things.