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Nimue Creation Step by Step

A few months ago, more than a year ago, I realized that Nimue, although having an Arthurian name, had not yet created embroidery subjects from the Arturian Legend. What?
It seemed incredible that after more than 17 years of being called Nimue(The Lady of the Lake),nothing, no character, transmitted this culture that is the breeding ground of my inspiration.
 
An opportunity would allow me to embark on the realization of this Arthurian pantheon: an invitation to Moscow, as guest of honor of a fair art of the thread – crafts, Formula Rukodiela in February 2020.
 
The first cross-stitch subjects were Guinevere,then Arthur,the Royal Couple.
Now it is the turn of the beings of the Other World, the Enchanter and Enchantress: Merlin and Viviane.

Why do I embroider?

Why do I embroider...

When I embroider what matters to me is to feel emotions, to be in the gesture.
One wonders how a gesture as simple as making a cross can bring so much fulfillment? How does an activity of such little vital importance take up so much space in our lives?
The other day Françoise told me that she can’t sit still without anything in her hands: an embroidery, a knit, a work…
Some can, most humans can, but for others it is difficult.
There is this obligation for women to always be “doing something”. This is probably less the case for the new generations, but for those who are over 50 there is this societal thing that irrigates us and says that it is not good “to do nothing”.
I had read that more than 20 years ago in a book by Emma Jung, the famous psychologist, that a woman who produces something with her hands does not feel guilty, or almost not, for indulging in a hobby. .
Some push the injunction to the end by only embroidering “useful” things such as napkins, tablecloths, etc. This is even more true for knitting since we only knit very useful things. We don’t knit pictures!
With Nimuë’s paintings, we are halfway between doing something with our hands and the useless, since apart from being hung on the wall, it does not fulfill a particular function in everyday needs.

I'm looking at the white dMC and Oops! It's a mess!

Embroidering a tablecloth makes sense. This makes sense for those who like to decorate their home, enrich their social space, because embroidered tablecloths are taken out when we have guests. It’s a way of saying to the people we receive: you are important, see what I deploy for you. It is also a way to show off and receive compliments, which is essential for all humans: recognition. If embroidering linens was common before, today someone who does it will expect others to notice their uniqueness. It is a signal that we send to others about who we are.
When I embroider a painting and hang it on the wall, which is not so often the case, I send another signal:
  • look what i can do
  • look who i am
  • don’t put your fingers on it
On a tablecloth it looks more like: “Please don’t stain it, but of course you can “caress” it.
For a table it’s “no touch!”
We understand that the signal is not quite the same! but we expect just as much recognition even if modestly the first reflex will be to say: “No, not me”.
To embroider a tablecloth is to give meaning to an everyday object. To embroider a painting is to give meaning to the very motif of the painting.
Viviane zen embroidery
Viviane, The Lady of the Lake
It’s difficult for me to embroider a subject that means nothing to me. I need it to be connected to something cultural or even spiritual. My professional life brought me to Brocéliande. There, I was able to piece together my personal puzzle. Here I am connected to something that speaks to me, my imagination flourishes carried by a landscape, by a rock, by calm waters. The Red of the schist and the Green of the lush vegetation marry perfectly before my eyes. Nimue’s embroidery reflects what Brocéliande evokes: Le Merveilleux, the passage of fresh water to the Other World.
What is felt is inscribed in the linen fabric, weaves itself into interwoven colored threads and sings a poetic and joyful song for those who have the keys to receive it.
All of this is rarely conscious. You don’t need to “know”. We simply know when we see an embroidery that this is the one we are going to embroider. What for? We don’t have the answer! but it is she who calls us. And that’s also why it’s magic. We accept the adventure that this embroidery promises us. Cross after cross, the subject comes alive on the canvas and at the same time in us. It’s a kind of plot that takes us from resolution to resolution so that at the end there is fireworks. And all this brings us to an infinite joy, generally totally foreign to those around us.
Cross after cross… Tens of thousands of crosses… all tied on a small piece of fabric. A miniature version of something bigger that eludes us. While our hands are working on our work, a part of us escapes into an elsewhere to the rhythm of a simple gesture, that of a very small cross. We take to their heels without anyone knowing. Physically we are still there and our hands are flailing, but in truth we are having fun somewhere between here and the other side without anyone being able to reach us there. We are in our personal space, our lair, our intimate cocoon of truth.
When I embroider something “useless” I give myself the right to be with myself, for myself, for long hours. I give myself the right to travel in my kingdom with multiple secret passages. Of course, something concrete will come out of it since the embroidery will be there, materialized, but perhaps its main importance will have been to have immersed me in an interior space necessary for my balance. It is a place where one regenerates. We don’t really know by what miracle, but these long hours of small crosses heal, repair, soothe, comfort. Here there is no danger, no clash, no annoyance.
It’s like immersing yourself in fresh water that makes you feel weightless. We leave the terrestrial attraction, the gravity that weighs us down, for a journey beyond everything.
Finally, after a few hours, we wake up in the world and we can’t believe we let ourselves be carried away by time.

See you for the sequel: Viviane Episode 3…

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Annaïck Chauvel

Annaïck Chauvel

Welcome to the story of Nimue’s Creations. Here I share with you the How and Why of these creations.

Table of Materials

Why do I embroider?

Why do I embroider… When I embroider what matters to me is to feel emotions, to be in the gesture. One wonders how a gesture

Read more"

The beginning

The Beginning: prologue Lately I proposed a creative journey. I proposed to all through a mystery grid to accompany me in a creation. The project

Read more"
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