The Tree of Life

This design is inspired by numerous examples of the Tree of Life legend found throughout seventeenth-century embroideries. The tree, with large leaves and swollen fruits, stands on undulating hillocks symbolic of the Garden of Paradise. I love the freedom in design that appears in all the embroideries of this period, no one seemed at all concerned with proportion – the tree would fall over if the fruits were really so large and the insects would be quite dangerous. The insects are stitched in lustrous space-dyed silks to contrast with the matt finish of the wool used for the rest of the design.

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