This is the plate that now lies in pieces on my bench in the studio. It is stamped 800 and was bought from an antique store in Melbourne earlier this year. In fact, I bought it at the same time as the pieces I bought for my Buda entries.

I walked out of the store, after deliberating on all three pieces for some time, with the two plates that ended up making up The Raven and The Fishes. I got into my car, and realised before I’d finished sitting down, that I had to have the other plate as well. For some reason, right then, I thought it was going to be the Buda work, so obviously I had to go back and get it.

In the end, I couldn’t work with it. I had chosen specific themes for the Buda piece, and that plate just didn’t want to play with those motifs. The border, now the frame to the new work, was busy saying something that was conflicting with the message that I was attempting to impose on it. So I went back to using two separate plates for the Buda work, and tucked this plate away with my small stash of other objects awaiting destruction.

It’s interesting that I always refer to them as being sliced or destroyed, they are always coming into harms way, rather than being referred to as renovated, say, or rejuvenated. Maybe reanimated, as if the works were some sort of Frankenstein’s Monster would be a reasonable lexical compromise?

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Alison Bailey, "Soothing Cactus"

Materials: hand dyed and commercial fabric, brass, and embroidery thread
Dimensions: 11” x 11” x 3”

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