Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Can an 11th century Bayeux hang in a modern world?


I'm not sure where inspiration comes from ultimately but I do know that one day last year there seemed to be the most unlikely answer for several design projects we were working on concurrently.

It is a long story of how we got there so.......
Let's just jump to the middle of the story where  I recall thinking immediately oh well that reminds me of the Norman invasion of England.  And when you think of the Norman invasion of England - we all know you can't see anything but the Bayeux tapestry!

I've always loved the Bayeux tapestry but I never really studied it in detail until recently!  Though the true origin of the tapestry is lost to history - it is thought that the Tapestry was made to celebrate William of Normandy's conquest of England.  These events culminated at the battle of Hastings where Harold, the current King of England, was killed.  Heady stuff right?

After months of obsessive study - I can say without equivocation that it is a true master piece of art and design.  It seems to me as fresh and relevant today as the day it was made. (thanks to my hip 21st century mentality!)

The stitching is effortless and a it amazes me how a  few carefully chosen colors and lines convey such a HUGE amount of gesture and motion.  Hats off you embroidery artists of olde.  I thought I had embraced a medium of restrained production but really letterpress and carving blocks is jet age stuff compared to hand embroidering a 206 ft long tapestry!!!!

You can see the whole thing at this crazy site which might have been designed shortly after the tapestry was finished - and flashing gifs invented -

Anyhow the more I thought about the Norman conquest of England the more I thought how much of the world can be summed up by that continual process of surging tides that rush around the world era after era.

Some for good and some for bad and some for the sake of overwhelming the old with the new.

And as you probably know by now we here at the Isle like a good theme to keep everything tidy as we hop from world to world in our design campaign - conversion - metaphor machination!

So I present without further adieu our song to the soul of the Bayeux tapestry - expect more of this in the future my friends!

your Friendly neighborhood conqueror
 Hiram the Great

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