Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thoughts on Illumination

Immediately after reading Brenda's announcement of "Illumination" as our next theme, the graphic designer in me thought of illuminated manuscripts, and both "The Book of Kells" and medieval Books of Days or Hours in particular (I could loose hours reading and looking at everything on the Colophon's site).


(via About.com)

As the medium is the message (a defining concept for me), I had to find a way to tie egg tempera and parchment to thread and fabric. It dawned on me this morning that embroidered monograms could have a possible connection, often being highly decorated letters themselves. In looking for historical monograms online, I ran across a Brintannica article on the "Sacred Monogram" referencing none other than The Book of Kells. The most famous sacred monogram, is of course, the Chi-Rho; the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ, often with the alpha and omega of the apocalypse on either side. By the way, it's the Chi-Rho that's been simplified to the X we now use in Xmas. Anyways, the sacred monogram angle connected the stitched letter back to vestments and to bibles, which are the original illuminated manuscripts.

So, what I thought was a dead-end idea last night, might actually have some merit. I found some exquisite examples here, and letters here. I have another idea too, but I'm worried it might be too hokey.

5 comments:

Terry said...

Yes, I too immediately thought of illuminated manuscripts when the theme was announced. I have a favorite quote about light and I am thinking that it would be a "two-fer" if I used the quote in an illuminated manuscript style.

Deborah said...

I want to hear the hokey idea!

Gerrie said...

OK, me too. Of course, it was the word illumination - just congers up this theme. But, I have lots of other ideas, too.

Kristin L said...

I'm now confident that we could all do pieces specifically on illuminated manuscripts and they'd still be very different. But, I'm dying to see what other ideas are percolating out there! Terry, I can't pass up a good two-fer either!

Natalya said...

this could be quite stunning...