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The Thing Quarterly + Michelle Blade's Aura Scarf

Aura photography becomes a bit more tangible with this multicolored silk "painting"

by Nara Shin
on 08 September 2015

Pushing artists to explore other mediums, conceptual object-based periodical The Thing Quarterly also hosts projects outside of their art-object subscription service (which "publishes" four times a season). They recently worked with visual artist Michelle Blade to bring her artwork to a wearable silk scarf. Something spiritual emanates from Blade's paintings of shadowy figures, natural landscapes and ethereal flashes—she expertly uses inks and watercolors for beautifully controlled bleeds that seem to freeze a moment in time. She channels the same energy for her multi-colored Aura Scarf, inspired by the colors and textures from aura photography.

"I was able to visualize how to make the painting for it instantly, which is everything," says Blade on how the idea came to formation. "And I loved the idea of a person physically wrapping themselves in an aura, and depending on how they wear the scarf, that they could present or represent a different energy."

"I wanted the aura colors to flow into one another in an atmospheric way so I laid the paint down in thin layers, one on top of another, to give a sense of translucency that one typically sees in aura photography," she continues. "Because ink has a unique character that likes to climb and bleed there are sections of the scarf that are more wild than others. I usually enjoy those moments the most."

On the colors she chose for the scarf, Blade explains, "I’ve had my aura photographed two different times with a gap of a few years in between. In each of the portraits, I am surrounded by same colors: blues, indigo and violet. I’ve been told this is a common combination for artists. The colors represent spirituality, creativity and a person that lives through their heart and emotions."

Blade also has another release next month, in the form of a book. She spent the past year researching and painting each of the 78 cards in the Tarot for the beautifully illustrated and informative tome "The Circadian Tarot." "It was an inspiring undertaking that taught me a lot," she says.

Made in San Francisco, the Aura Scarf is now available for $175 from The Thing Quarterly, and it comes with a separate fold-out poster painted by Blade and a color guide booklet, so you can wear your feelings and energy of your choice that day.

Images courtesy of Anna Alexia Basile

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