Knots of Life
— featured at the Live Auction for Snap 2018, March 22, Toronto Reference Library,
Live Preview, Thursday, March 8 at Birch Contemporary, Birch Contemporary, 129 Tecumseth Street, TO
~my personal story below based on my manipulated photograph
In Persian carpets, the knots represent the moments of time in our individual lives. The knots are the individual interactions that connect us to each other; no one knot is more important or less important than the previous one. We start our journey with one unique colour, then we switch to another colour: this could represent growth, transition or regression. The knots, similarly the
moments of time, are linear; however, the pattern the knots create cannot be viewed in one straight line but as a multi-dimensional composite. A series of contrasting emotions — joy pitted against misery, tranquility pitted against dismay — interspersed by moments of anticipation and boredom creates the beauty of the full tapestry.
When I saw the rapid test’s pink dot and was diagnosed with an
HIV infection, ten years ago, my life ended. My new boyfriend of
three months took me in his arms, terrified to lose me. He hasn’t. I’m still here.
Turned out it was a false positive. Good news, right? Yes, but that
disastrous, unintentional error trapped me in consuming anger
followed by months of reconciliation. Through it all, ACT was there to pick me up and put me back together again. My now husband and I received counselling and learned about our rights, both medical and personal.
Ten years later, this piece, Persian 14 from the Tapestry series has
been selected for the Live Auction at SNAP 2018. The life connections and the story came to me later. There is a simple reason why this piece was chosen. The carpet represents my journey through life. I survived becoming positive and then I also survived becoming negative again: one knot followed by another.
This image is a digital manipulation of a segment of a Turkish Heriz carpet at the Turco-Persian Rug Company. It measures 9’9” by 11’7” and contains an uncountable number of knots in beautiful shades of blues and oranges. It took three women eight months to complete it, hand tying each of the tiny knots. If you look closely at the image, you are able to see the individual knots that represent the individual parts of my story.
These oriental carpets are the oral histories and stories of the people who weave them. They also become the portable gardens that the weavers take with them in their nomadic voyages. They are traditions that are handed down from one generation to the next. Each knot is a moment in time. Each knot is a little piece of life. It is only upon completion of the tapestry, the final row of knots, that we can absorb the full pattern — the complete story of our lives.
On the anniversary of my tenth year associated with ACT, I am comforted to know that this carpet will come to represent my life when I have ceased to be.