Shoufay Derz, King for a Day (Stripped), 2015, hand stitched silk thread (dyed with pomegranate skins), King size bed sheet, (Text appropriated from old love letter written by Peter Derz addressed to Lena Chen, dated 1970s), 260 x 274 cm
Shoufay Derz has been invited to contribute an artwork to Stations of the Cross 2015, an annual group exhibition hosted by Australian Catholic University.
As part of the exhibition, each artist is invited to respond in their own way to a Station of the Cross, selected at random from a hat. Shoufay responded to 'Jesus was stripped' and chose to work with handwriting appropriated from an old love letter the artist's father wrote to her mother in the 70s. In the love letter, the artist's father intended to write about his new lounge suite as 'striped’ but misspelt it as ’stripped’.
The artist elaborated: "I used a ‘love potion’ of pomegranate skins, fermented for over six years in my studio, to dye the silk thread. Surprisingly, this transforms white silk into a shimmery gold colour. I used this thread to hand stitch the hand written word ‘Stripped’ upon a King size gold mulberry silk sheet. I call the piece King for a Day".
"My father’s final sleep was unexpectedly at home and, by chance, in gold satin sheets. I was struck at the time by the emptiness of the bed, but also the creases that marked his presence. Years later, this idea has come from a secret partner image (not exhibited), I took of his slept-in sheet just after his physical presence was removed."
Stations of the Cross 2015 is currently showing at McGlade Gallery at Australian Catholic University until 18 April.