Mercerized cotton and silk hand dyed with natural dyes, hand woven.18" x 15'
I used a traditional Summer and Winter block pattern to weave the message "Each Slow Dusk" in Morse Code. The message can be read both horizontally and vertically and is picked out in the yellow blocks. I am fascinated by non-verbal antiquated modes of communication like morse code and semaphore. The message in this piece silently screams, over and over, the fate of our endangered species. Each Slow Dusk is the first half of the last line of "Anthem for Doomed Youth" by Wilfred Owen.
Mercerized cotton hand dyed with natural dyes, hand woven18" x 15'
I used a traditional Summer and Winter block pattern to weave the message "Save Our Souls" in Morse Code. The message can be read both horizontally and vertically and is picked out in the pink (cochineal), orange (madder) and burgundy (eastern brazilwood) blocks. I am fascinated by non-verbal antiquated modes of communication like morse code and semaphore. The message in this piece silently screams, over and over, the fate of our endangered species.
The hair skirt accompanies the hair shirt to make a hair suit (hirsute). Together they become suitable attire for the busy politician; a sort of protective carapace to mask the political quest for power at any cost. This armour-like suit is designed for the politician after election when all the promises made during the election process fall by the wayside and when unbridled hypocrisy kicks in. This garment is, again, constructed from my own discarded hair. The iron-maiden-like nails are on the outside for maximum display and minimum discomfort.
Human hair, tulle, hand dyed cotton, braid and ribbon. Hand sewn.2' x 2.5'
Historically, hair shirts were constructed from hessian or goat hair and the harsh, abrasive surface was worn next to the skin by penitents. This shirt is designed for the hypocrite – one who wants to be seen as penitent without the pain (influenced by Moliere’s play Tartuffe). I constructed this piece using my own discarded hair. The inner surface is nicely padded to avoid irritation to the wearer. It is lined with fabric hand dyed with indigo and potassium permanganate. The pieced nature of the lining is reminiscent of Japanese Boro textiles while the stitching holding the layers together was inspired by Japanese Chiku Chiku quilting.
Broken Promises. The Politician’s Armour. After the Election., 2019
Found broken shells, painted canvas, hand sewn.2' x 3'
I spent two years collcting the shells for this piece from the beaches on Pender Island. The "broken promises" I was contemplating as I was walking on the beaches involved the shamefully inadequate housing policies and the growing number of homeless people on our streets and in our parks; seeking shelter wherever they can. There are many other "broken promises" which hit home: pipelines which threated our wildlife on land and in the oceans, the lack of protection for endangered species, the lack of accountability for climae change and the unwillingness to put fossil fuels on the back burner. As we teeter on the brink of extinction due to climate change, it is up to us to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions.
I used a late 17th century french cuirass as inspiration for this piece. It tells many stories; loss of life due to warfare, waste of edible food due to expiration dates on packaging, a disconnect between food production and consumption, the desire for produce to last longer rather than being consumed fresh and all the added chemicals and chemical processes this involves. And, of course, the problem of how to deal with all the discarded plastic our society produces and the everyday quandaries of being a consumer.
The Promise of Change. Picking up the Pieces., 2020
Beach glass, tulle, felt. Hand sewn.2' x 3'
This is a companion piece to the Politician's Armours - before and after the election. This armour shows the potential for change; how we can influence our future by who we elect as our officials. I am lucky to have members of the Green Party representing my riding both federally and provincially. These two individuals are changing politics from within and are working tirelessly to offer alternatives to the old-boys way of doing things
Fibonacci’s famous number sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8...) was the inspiration for this piece. It is fashioned after the intricately decorated medieval copes worn by priests and emperors. It is constructed from empty tea bag packets sewn on to a felt backing lined with silk. Rather than using the traditional illustration of the Fibonacci sequence to arrange the tea bag packets, I designed my own block, which is similar to a quilt block. The traditional illustration shows how the numbers form a spiral which is a form found often in nature. My block forms more of a labyrinth. Constructed from garbage, the labyrinthine pattern suggests the laborious task we have ahead of us if we are to escape the destruction of the environment by our avid over consumption.
Silk dyed with natural dyes, bubble wrap, snake skin.6' x 3'
This piece was inspired by The Perseus Series by Edward Burne Jones. The full-size guache cartoons for this series are on display at Southampton Art Gallery. When I was a child, my father used to take me to this gallery on Sunday afternoons. I loved it there. By the time I was a teenager, The Perseus Series, had become my favourite of all the pieces in the gallery. I dyed many kinds of silk with many different natural dyes and layered them to create a feeling of falling through space. The snake skins were shed by Orinda, a beautiful corn snake, and passed on to me by Joyce Davis. I chose the form of a medieval cope to reflect Burne Jones’ affiliation with the Pre-Raphaelites. The natural dyes were a direct reference to his friendship with William Morris and his involvement with the Arts and Crafts Movement. The overall look of the finished piece resembles the stained glass windows Burne Jones designed for churches all over England.