IV. Nudus Faciam Te Amo (Naked will I love thee still)

IV. Nudus Faciam Te Amo (Naked will I love thee still)


When an old house becomes a new home, you make it yours, perhaps stripping away the layers of its occupancy, wallpaper, paint, red stripes, green dots, ivory flowers,wondering & delving into the remnants of the stories left behind, imagining how this room was once a different place. 

These layers mesh and fuse, eroding into each other over time, sometimes jarringly, and it's in this half-stripped space that this piece opens. These jarred jagged lines of layers appear in the deconstructed and rapidly shifting woven pattern of the scarf, which was created and then destroyed before being woven in its deconstructed state to represent these layers being stripped back, asking that question you can't un-ask, “Naked Will I love thee still?” It’s a jarring stop on the Dark Hedges journey, because it needs to be asked before it can be answered, and until it’s warped and woven, that answer isn’t known. 

It's true that you don't need to strip back every layer to just keep going, but to truly know oneself, and to thrive rather than merely survive, a blank slate, a naked state, allows you to truly 'know'. 

This scarf strips away the gloss of fantasy, layers of hopes & histories of this person and others before them, until it hits the unshakable surface of 'nakedness' - not just a physical one - bare bricks, wood and stone, but an emotional and spiritual one, with all the dreams and hopes, feelings and fears that I'd pinned to the veneer, stripped away. 

And only then, at ground zero, are we finally free, surrounded by surrender and answers to questions I couldn't find words to ask. As 'Nudus faciam te amo?' took its form in my notebooks, computer programs and on the loom, I knew that when I saw it woven, I would have not only the answer to unknown questions, but also the questions I needed themselves. 

In 2008, I hand-drew blue 'willow pattern' plates, they told a story, of a journey, of a relationship. As I set out to create this piece, 'nudus faciam te amo?' I knew I needed to start by looking at these. These were something I made, a layer of paper, to mark the occupancy of my heartspace by someone else, a long time ago, and yet, it was something I felt strongly enough about to create these painstaking pieces of artwork. 

For the weft (which ties all layers together), I chose to use that same shade of deep blue, which I've never woven with before, to represent the concept of the layers of occupation, decoration and long-painted-over hopes and dreams.

'Naked Will I Love Thee Still' piece goes farther in the depths of its inspirations, seeking to do more than merely subvert pattern and convention. As it is a woven piece, it must both break the rules of pattern and keep the rules of structure. 

The ‘willow pattern blue’ of its weft represents both broken fragments of fine china that find their way into the cracks of a home, and at the same time, it reverberates the hidden stories of revolution that artists used to hand paint into the patterns on those plates.

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'Naked Will I Love Thee Still' is the fourth moment in a six-piece handwoven composition a single warp in silk, linen & cashmere for 2014. "Dark Hedges: A journey of love & loss."

Read the story at brendanjoseph.ie/darkhedges