GALLERY den HAAG

TEXTILE ART + MUSIC + POETRY + TRAVEL + ESSAYS + FICTION + INTRODUCTION





INTRODUCTION TO THE NEEDLEPOINTS

BY JAN HAAG






I have created twenty-three works in needlepoint, an average of not quite one a year over a period of twenty-six years. Some people call the later ones petitpoints. In actuality, there are more than a dozen names for "canvas embroidery." Its history reaches far back into antiquity; forms of it are almost as old as cloth-making itself. In the Western world, the creation and enhancement of textiles as an art form was revivified almost half a century ago by the seminal work of Lenore Tawney, a dear friend and long-time mentor of my work.

Though I am a writer/nomad, I never liked keeping a diary as I travelled. In 1975, I began needlepointing and thereafter kept needlepoint "diaries" -- being richly inspired by new designs in many countries, I would borrow a pattern here, put in a few stitches there. It was a whole new way of seeing the world. The first five needlepoints were created between 1975 and 1982 as I travelled the United States and other parts of the world for the American Film Institute as Director of National Production Programs. From 1982 to 1993 more needlepoints were done on walks, travels, excursions, and as diaries about the many places I have lived and the many fields I have studied. The latest works touch on some of the complexity and beauty of North Indian Classical Music, its rhythmic and melodic patterns.

I share the pragmatic viewpoint with the weavers of Oriental rugs: colorful textiles are not for framing, they are for use. Five of the large needlepoints (mounted to be shown) have been used as pillows. GREAT-GRANDMOTHER'S LEGACY, was designed for a footstool. The ARMRESTS were used for seven years in my 1964 Buick Riviera. The OCTAGONAL BEANBAG has been much tossed. I use the TINTAL COIN PURSE daily. The KAIDA TABLA COVERS were a gift to my teacher, the great drummer, PANDIT SWAPAN CHAUDHURI. The TUKRA TABLE COVERS cover my own drums. The just finished MUKHRA/TUKRA/CHAKRADAR can be used as a small rug to sit on while drumming or a rug on which to keep one's powder, hammer, and tabla covers. Use brings out the beauty of the materials, softens them, and adds to the pleasure of daily life. The meditative mood of stitching brings peace to the heart.

I started my first needlepoint by graphing the UNICORN's form. However, as I acquired experience, I graphed less. Often I work out patterns with no preliminary sketches whatever. My designs, never pre-planned, like life, are always a surprise. I don't know how they will look until they are done. Mostly, I work the continental stitch in all four directions with Persian or Appleton wool on unmarked canvas. At times, I add gold, silver, silk, rayon or cotton threads. When I needlepoint I often concentrate so completely I will stay up all night: one more stitch and one more stitch, just to see what a pattern will look like. Each of the larger pieces has taken me from one to five years to complete. The collection reflects my eclectic philosophy: the world is One and -- as in the image of Indra's net (and the INTERNET) -- each pearl or node reflects the whole.

My only regret in my years of needlepointing is to be the only witness of the intermediary designs before they disappeared into the whole. Recently this has been remedied. Craig Kolb and Betty Hansen have taken periodic photographs of the MUKHRA/TUKRA/CHAKRADAR needlepoint to capture these evanescent patterns. The sequence will be published here soon.

The section of this Website, 21st CENTURY ART, C.E.-B.C., A Context, shows the work of some of the great practitioners of the Grid Arts from as far back as art began to the present.




SOME OF THE PAGES FOR THE INKDIVIDUAL NEEDLEPOINTS ARE STILL BEING EDITED.

The Needlepoints

I The I Ching

II The Unicorn

III Green Pillow

IV Armrests

V Narcissus

VI Chinese Chair Pillow

VII Great Grandmother's Legacy

VIIa OM

VIII Octagonal Beanbag

IX Flora and Fauna Beanbag

X Asian Diary #1, Kundalini

XI Asian Diary #2

XII Tibetan Yantra Beanbag

XIII Kalachakra

XIV Eye of Horus Amulet

XV Erika Sachet

XVI Needlepoint-Cattipoint

XVII Palimpsest

XVIII Cantalloc

THE FOLLOWING NEEDLEPOINTS ARE BASED ON THE RHYTHMS AND MELODY OF

NORTH INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC

IXX Tintal Coin Purse

XX Kaida, Tabla Covers

XXI Tukra, Tabla Covers

XXII Mukhra-Tukra-Chakradar

XXIII The Ten Thats







Copyright © 2001 through 2015 by Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jjhaag@gmail.com




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21st CENTURY ART, C.E.-B.C., A Context







TEXTILE ART + MUSIC + POETRY + TRAVEL + FICTION + ESSAYS

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO