A number of pieces were embroidered specially for the ‘Silk Legacy’ exhibition. They were kept largely under wraps over the many years of preparation and shown publicly for the first time at the Exhibitions. Among the exhibits were also pieces stitched in the traditional way by embroidery enthusiasts from around Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
Exhibits from Margaret Lee Embroidery:
Butterflies in Chinese culture symbolize longevity, love and happiness. This painting of a hundred butterflies is well known. The display of colours presented by this group of flying butterflies, embroidered using very fine silk threads portrays a feeling of lightness, freedom and happiness.
Joy in the Lotus Pond Morag
Morag is a special dog belonging to Gilian and Duncan Smith of SA.
She has the ability to detect persons with a diabetic condition.
This embroidery was stitched from a photo.
Moon Light Frolic
Still Life of Glassess in a Basket
The challenge of this design was to capture the translucent quality of the glasses and the characteristics of the materials for the different objects - the rattan of the basket, the wood of the table and the metal of the goblets.
Based on a painting by German Still Life artis Sebastian Stoskopff in 1644
Droving into The Light
It was the light depicted in the painting that inspired. The challenge of recreating the ambience was an exciting propect.
The embroidery process itself has been a great journey of discovery.
Based on the painting by Sir Hans Heysen OBE (1877 - 1968)
Australian birds series
Birds are a much loved subject in Chinese art and gained prominence in the Song dynasty. It is especially suited to silk embroidery as a subject as the reflective quality of the silk threads lend itself to protraying them in a realistic and vibrant way
For the exhibition Margaret collaborated with prominent South Australian artist Jeremy Boot and embroidered a series of Australian birds based on his paintings.
The White Breasted Sea Eagle *
Its majestic pose is captured in this picture, perched atop a rock surveying his realm.
* Based on original painting by Jeremy Boot
Kookaburra * Sacred Kingfisher * Blue Fairy Wren *
Birds from Traditional Chinese Paintings
This design is steeped in meaning as cranes hold a special place in Chinese culture. As the longes living in the bird kingdom, it symbolises longevity. Cranes mates for life and in a family, both male and female work together in building the nest and raising their young. They are therefore considered to be symbols of happiness, good luck and fidelity in marriage.
In this picture, the cranes stand in a lotus pond where only lotus pods and leaves are represented. Lotus pods, when ripe, carry many lotus seeds and symbolises ‘plenty’.
Lotus seeds and wall hangings with cranes are often displayed in a traditional Chinese wedding.
Images of peacock displayed in a Chinese home are considered to promote good providence. Chinese lore has ascribed 9 virtues to the peacock. They have a tidy face, clear voice, careful walk, good and appropriate behaviour, contended, moderate in food and drink, not being obscene and always returning. They are also a symbol of authority.
Based on a painting by Zhou Tianjin.
Double Sided Embroidery
B0unty of the Sea
THE ROLE OF EMBROIDERY IN GOVERNMENT - Replica Rank Badges
Rank Badges represent the most well known use of embroidery in government in China's history. The badges, also known as Mandarin Squares, were worn by military and civilian officials of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties(1644-1911). The embroidered squares identify the rank and role of the official by the animal or bird symbol represented. There were 9 ranks each for the civil and military service. The animals depicted for the civil service were drawn from the bird kingdom while that for the military service were from the animal kingdom or mythical animals.
This series of embroideries are from Margaret Lee's private collection.
Rank Badges Civil
Crane Golden Pheasant Peacock
Wild Goose Silver Pheasant Mandarin Duck
Quail Paradise Fly Catcher Quail
Rank Badges Military
Qilin Lion Leopard
Exhibits from around Australia, New Zealand and Europe:
Anna Lang Annie Power Barbara Edwards
Bonnie Yau Cecilia Andersson Del Harrington-Hawes
Eileen Lademan Eliane Aubry - France Gina MacMonagle
Ineke Jansen Judy Goodwin Jacqueline Poirier - France
Judith Truscott Kerrie Bennet Lenie Van Wijchen-Jansen - Netherlands
Lesley Neuhaus Maria Gilles Maria Trajikovic
Marie Hansen Marie Madeleine Jouanneau - France Mari-Jan Bakker - Netherlands
Maureen Moore - New Zealand Narelle Rebetzke Sally Randle
Sushama Balasingham Sushama Balasingham