Drawn from Life

Drawn from Life

Anna Torma, Everyday Poems

Anna Torma, Everyday Poems, 2013, hand-embroidered metallic fabric, silk thread, 4.7 x 4 ft. Photo: Istvan Zsako

“In my family, drawing was always present,” says Anna Torma. “I observed how my children used their drawing skills to communicate from an early age. I found it quite poetic, how they used a mix of dragons and imaginary creatures, texts and schoolwork, to work through their negative emotions and make sense of the world.” Her children’s drawings became the inspiration for Everyday Poems, an embroidered wall piece Torma made in 1992 for an exhibition in her native Hungary. But after touring Europe with the show, the piece got lost, and never made it back to Canada, her adopted home.

In 2013, Torma decided she was ready to remake the piece, “with 20 more years of experience.” She used the same basic composition and hand-embroidery technique as in the original. This time, however, she chose a “cold, metallic” fabric surface and ended up with very different results – darker colors and forms that allude to recent events such as the Boston Marathon bombing.

The work is now on view through January 19 in “Telling Tales,” a show about narrative at Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington state, also featuring collages by Nate Steigenga and glass by Cappy Thompson.