Newest venture: Stained glass jewelry.
Also, I use discarded and broken jewelry.
Iris is an Opera by Pietro Mascagni with an Italian libretto.
Iris, the naive daughter of a blind old man, lives happy enjoying the simple things of nature. Osaka, a lord in search of adventures, falls in love with her and plans to kidnap her with the help of the pimp Kyoto. And during the show of puppets, the libertine enters disguised as a child of the sun, singing a serenade.
So it conquers the heart of Iris, and by deception takes the daughter to the old blind father, who lives with her. Iris is conducted at the Yoshiwara, a place of perdition, and she wakes up the illusion of being in Paradise; Osaka tries to seduce her but succeeding only at terrorizing the girl.
Tired and annoyed by the simplicity of Iris, Osaka leaves her at the mercy of Kyoto, which exposes her in the house of pleasure. There, reached and cursed by his father, who does not know about the rapture; at that point Iris, overwhelmed by shame, she throws herself into an abyss.
Iris dies kissed by the light and embraced from the flowers.
Not a happy ending or a happy story. But for the beauty of Iris, I tried to show her at her best in purple and olive, aqua and reddish silk and beads. Check out her shoes.
The opera is famous (at the time of its premiere, infamous) for its “Dance of the Seven Veils“. It is now better known for the more shocking final scene (often a concert-piece for dramatic sopranos), where Salome declares her love to – and kisses – the severed head of John the Baptist.
In this piece of artwork, my depiction of her intends to convey a lustful uncaring attitude which I hope I managed to illustrate here.
Salome (whether by ignorance or love for her mother) asked for the head of John the Baptist of her step-father the king when he offered her anything she wanted after she danced so beautifully for him. In her stance, I tried to convey that nonchalance, that insouciant indifference to her deed.
I used red and black silk for her skirt, beaded the bodice and headpiece then added the feathers.
This piece is 16″ x 20″ and framed in a gold leaf frame.
My newest and most ardent passion is silk. Touching, feeling, sewing, shaping and then adding color to the lush fabric puts a huge smile on my face that turns to giggles and laughter.
Here is some of my latest work:
Hand made Emerald Blue Kimono, floor length with Shibori technique on collar and sleeves.
Emerald camisole and hand made Thai pants.
Hand painted silk scarf.
Hand dyed blue scarf with Shibori technique.
All pieces are to mix and match for an incredible luxurious look and feel.
My father whom I admired with all my heart said that, “A man takes a woman to the dance floor and she becomes his show-piece. He does not overcome her with his presence but shows off her beauty and charm. He shows her off.”
When I saw Easy Virtue, I thought of my wonderful father and his poignant thoughts on the subject. As a man from Egypt, one would not think he was so progressive and avant-garde. But he was. When he died, I was heart-broken. He left me with thoughts and ideas to last me till the day I die.
People have suggested that I walk well in high heels. Non other than my father is responsible for that also. When he saw me walking like a new born giraffe, he took it upon himself to spend some evenings with me. He placed a book on my head and watched me walk back and forth in the living room till I managed to step properly.
“If you cannot walk in the damn shoes, don’t wear them,” he said several times, smiling and indulging me.
I also indulged him and followed his direction. Though small in stature, he was large in spirit and heart. No one else took the time but my father taught me to Tango, Rumba, Samba and Waltz.
This dance is for my father whom I loved.