The Panel of the Excavation
Having completely redesigned the idea and the thrust of the second of the two background panels, I have to design the actual image I will use.
This image is cropped from a photo of the excavation from that wonderful collection of photos that The Egypt Exploration Society has allowed me to use as reference material for this project, and rather than using it just as it is, I’m going to alter it and maybe even add people to it…
There’s a lovely shape and pattern here, but the overall proportions of the picture don’t match those of the Map of Amarna, and they must. I need to make the design taller, without leaving myself with too much empty space top or bottom. A certain amount of empty space can be filled with stitching, but since this isn’t an abstraction of reality – like the map – but a representation of a moment in time, I need to be a bit more careful about what I do and how I represent everything, including the ground.
Here is the intermediate stage. I tweaked the contrast on the original photo and printed it out at a couple of different sizes, then my mother and I had an orgy of primary school paper collage, arranging and re-arranging groups of people to create a slightly busier, taller, picture of the excavation.
The next stage is to reinstate detail where I need it. The blobby effect of the reduced level of detail is just what I needed while planning the pattern of the excavation, but although the finished embroidery won’t have a high level of detail in most of the figures, I’m not sure that the lack of detail is in the right places…
This is not proving quick to develop!