Before I move on with my day, let me post about this ongoing art project that began in September, 2013. Here’s what I wrote about it to send to India Flint for this project.
Our family farm sits upon the site of a Native American village and mound site from around 900 years ago. In the 19th century the area was known as “Affinity.” Reflecting on and finding artifacts from the cultures that lived there before always fascinated me.
In September 2013 I printed and dyed long strips of cotton fabric using plants and leaves I gathered from the farm with the intention of making a scroll. The dyestuff included goldenrod, broomsedge, oak and sweet gum leaves, and pomegranate rinds. The bundles were rolled around old tobacco sticks that were once used to hang tobacco leaves in barns to cure.
I also was taking the last college art course of my degree, and created a ceramic box for the scroll. The lid of the box is a relief map of the farm from a satellite view. The bottom of the inside of the box is a relief map of what I imagine the same view might have been 900 years ago.
During the making of this project (which is still in progress), my brother told me that he had banned hunting on the farm and is in the planning stages of constructing an observation platform and feeding station for wildlife overlooking a beaver pond. This made me consider the lives of the other inhabitants of the land that have always been there. I began stitching outlines of these creatures on the scroll with silk dyed with black walnut hulls from the farm.
The cloth turned out to have a mystery coating on it, but it still took the dye and even retained the texture of the materials in the bundle after washing it, so the texture is part of the piece.
Spaces were saved to stitch poetry on the scroll, probably from Wendell Berry’s “The Mad Farmer Poems.”