Art can be a tool for grasping and understanding both the beauty and the horror of life, a way to make contact with the worn out but inevitable stuff that we are all dealing with. The textile material is such an profound carrier of these matters.
It’s a fact that we take some things deeply personal and allow some events to define how we feel and relate to an occuring experience. According to what someone outside ourselves does to us, physically or emotionally, we react. That reaction creates a memory. Textiles have a memory just like us, your jeans remembers the shape of you, your beddings absorb fragments of your nightly dreams. And I believe that we can use textiles as a very efficient passage into the trail of memories.
My piece “The desert” is a wool blanket, a homage to the artist Georgia O’Keeffe. It’s a two pieced work and the larger cloth on the ground consists of hand spun wool dyed with the dried seeds and shells of avocado. Sometimes I refer to this weave as a conversational-piece, an exchange of two female artists relating to the solitude of the desert. But is it really any exchange happening here? When one of the artists is dead and has been for the last 30 years. In this case maybe it doesn’t matter that much. In art you can do whatever you want, including using Georgia O’Keeffe as your mental mirror in a way of trying to understand the reflection.
What’s important for me when I choose to use the hand spun yarn and a quite uncertain dyeing process is the strength of memorial qualities that the wool inherents, it carries the action of being washed, brushed, touched and it remembers the rhythm of my hand feeding it to the spinning wheel. It even carries the ability to reminiscence the sheep it once dressed. There’s an energy in this. Besides there’s no better smell than the smell of sheep!