I’m still at work creating Edvard Munch’s Skrik image in various textile techniques. Next up: Scream in rya. The piece will be large, 31″ by 49″. Because the image is mostly the face, the scale of the screaming figure is larger than the ones in the “real” Scream paintings. What interests me is how realistic the image will appear when it is created from bundles of yarn pile. I started by choosing a section of the painting to weave and blowing it up using Photoshop. I needed a grid superimposed on it, so I turned the grid feature on in Photoshop, took a screenshot of the image with the grid on it, and then saved that image. That will be my cartoon for weaving the rya. I couldn’t figure out how to print the cartoon in sections using Photoshop, so I saved it as a pdf and used Adobe Acrobat to print the cartoon in sections.
My plan is to cut the cartoon into horizontal strips to take to the loom as I weave. As I add the pile knots to the rya, I’ll choose bundles of yarn that approximate the mixture of paint colors on the strips of cartoon. So, for example, the background color won’t be just one shade of blue, but a mixture of bright and dark blue yarns. If I put this all together from strips, and the piece is completed, will the image made from deep pile still look quite detailed?
It’s been fun to work with the Scream image. People immediately recognize it and are interested. Recently a psychoanalyst friend probed a bit about why I am attracted to the image. While I’ve had many reasons to hold my head in angst, I think I’ve worked with the image as a cultural icon, in a fairly superficial way. The emotional power of the image has been muted.
The rya piece might be different. As I taped together the pieces of the cartoon, the emerging image was haunting. It might be the scale of the head, which dwarfs the smaller Scream figures of the real paintings. My husband commented on the cartoon now hanging up, “I’m not sure I will want that on a wall.”
“That’s OK,” I noted. “It’s a rya. We can always use it as a rug.”