“Exceptional until time of Collapse”
The thin ethereal nature of my work represents the delicate space that we, as humans, find ourselves in: the space that exists between denial and the inability to react, and that of acceptance and the ability to take responsibility. The transparency of my work, and the shadows that fall from the images complete and solidify the relationship that exists between the work, its environment and the viewer.
My work, in many ways, is a personal attempt at fully understanding my own place in the physical universe and to what degree I am actually able to alter the way that I choose to live in it. I do not want to create an apocalyptic version of events depicting images of doom and gloom. Instead, I try to create snap shots of my thoughts that are not offensive to look at but, on closer inspection, are over-flowing with an undeniable reality that we all know exists, but that we are unable or unwilling to visualize.
The tree rings or life rings are re-occurring images that are seen in my work and are made by crocheting with Shifu (paper thread). These works are about the tree as a functional object, the tree as something of importance and the tree being something that leaves behind an actual record of past activities, but is still confined to the present. The life rings are reminiscent of something that once existed and that, now are left as casings of the past. I have de-fleshed the living specimen in order to force myself to look further than what meets the eye. I crochet from the inside out - much in the same way that a tree develops its life rings. The age and the history of the world shown to us by their stems provide us with an almost nostalgic lament to the life of the tree and, therefore our own narrative. Crocheting tree rings is a whimsical and ironic attempt to heal the cycle.
The use of silk adds another dimension to the paper work. Silk symbolizes the opening up of trade routes and the development of many civilizations through cross border relationships. Important technologies and philosophies were shared along the Silk Road, however, it also brought the spread of the bubonic plague, as well as the trading of ivory and rhino horn. Silk has been a revered fibre for centuries and has been smuggled, kept a secret and stolen. This powerful material that is so light and yet so strong, represents the human condition in so many ways. It is spun from an insect that purges and feeds for days in order to produce something that will protect itself only for a few days so that it can be allowed to grow into something that has no eyes nor mouth and that can neither drink nor eat. It continues to mate, lay eggs and pass away. What is left is something beautiful but rather useless in terms of the natural environment. Despite this, though, for the human, it is something to be revered - a strange contradiction of terms and a brilliant metaphor for the human circumstance itself.
I am increasingly interested in materials and processes. I prefer working with natural fibres as they are often non-toxic and therefore I am able to work with my hands for longer periods. There are certain realities in my work and in the world around us, and that is that nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect.