The Eye

The Eye has been woven almost twenty years ago while I was raising my two boys. My oldest six years old was exceptionally curious and skilled, while a 3 year old younger sibling was difficult to engage in any activity. A visit at doctors revealed a likely cause for the incongruity: so called lazy eyes. Younger sons’ eyesight was extremely poor: he was nearly blind with one eye, while with the other he could barely distinguish some images. Doctors have provided thick glass glasses and demanded to cover one eye, to train the other, in an attempt to restore some of the eyesight. My son was not happy about this and was persistently resisting, while eyesight got worse: the already unclear images were dissolving into the fog of shadows. Finally I managed to convince him to cover the healthier eye, as long as it was covered with a new drawing each day. So I settled in my daily drawing routine – birds, bugs, ornaments, when one day decided to make a very realistic drawing of the eye: from some distance it should look real, nobody should be able to tell that glass is covered and there is no eye visible. My son liked the idea, it received high approval ratings among neighbourhood kids and myself, I enjoyed meaningful use of complex drawing skills. Eventually covering of the eye worked, the eyesight of my son improved considerably. I was so happy, that it seemed appropriate to make the realistic, yet unreal, object more permanent: weave a miniature copy of my sons’ eye. About 2 months and 40 colours and shades of linen yarn, which I coloured with natural herbal dyes, were used in producing a 10 square cm miniature using classical gobelin technique.

The Eye found a buyer and was sold for 10 dollars, quite a bit of money in those distant days. However, watching my son grow up, graduating from school, entering University, I did miss The Eye – regularly revising story of its creation.

In spring 2012 I have received an unexpected email from Canada. The woman reminded me that she has bought The Eye during her visit to Lithuania many years ago. She also told that she kept on traveling and often brought The Eye on her trips, as this was one of her favourite art pieces. Yet she confided that sometimes she feels certain unease looking at it. In my response I have told the story of how the piece came to being and send her a picture of myself hugging my younger son on his school graduation day. She then wrote back, that the story suddenly explained the strange feeling of guilt and uneasiness which filled her looking into The Eye – the piece is too personal, full of love and family warmth and it should be going home … Soon I received a parcel from Canada which contained my sons woven and framed Eye carefully packed in alkaline paper.

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