After coming to Vancouver, I felt a lot of stress so I began to meditate in the morning for 10 to 15 minutes. I would keep my eyes open and clear my mind of all thoughts. It was very relaxing and led me into my research of irises and how the world is seen through them.
I spent time searching through images of nature and observed the colours therein. I selected a variety of different types of irises to do my work and extracted colour from them. I then did a detailed study of each eye and analyzed the different elements before deciding which materials to use for each part.
After printing them on to the fabric, I used wool to embroider the designs to create a tactile 3D effect for each. I also used elements such as coloured beads to create a more realistic image and also add a unique texture to each individual iris. From finding the irises to choosing the colour, drawing the illustrations and selecting the materials, from the beginning until the final embroidered piece, all-in, each iris took approximately 9 hours. During this time, I was able to enter a light state of meditation.
I made embroidery sewing of the symbol of iris, as it represents the energy of the universe that enters the body like a spiritual light, behind the darkness of closed eyes. Several attemps were made (shown in Figure 19), for instance, when drafting pattern #1, I was planning to sew onto the patterned texture, using French knot for the black part and flat stitch for the yellow part. However, as I was exploring I recognized that the homogenized texture lacks the feeling of thickness and variation, thus this plan was abandoned after several attempts. Then I tried to add some different material such as wool and coloured beads to diversify the expressions. Two entire days were spent on creating pattern #2; unfortunately due to the issues of cutting the edge this pattern was abandoned as well. Nevertheless, through the process of exploration each failure brought me closer to success.