Natural seed abundance, disappearing diversity.

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Detail

"Bye Bye Beans 2 (Ritual Burial Cloth) "
2007. 45” x 34”
Mixed media: rust-printed linen; “Solvy”, Scarlet Runner beans, free machine-embroidery.

This work is about hope; it is my version of a seed tape. It incorporates Scarlet Runner beans which I have grown and collected in my garden. The beans are stitched onto their shroud, a found liturgical textile, beautifully marked with life-death symbols in drawn-thread work inherited from an anonymous artist-maker. The see-through "cloth" into which the beans are stitched is water-soluble and is commonly used in the seed industry to make seed tape. The water soluble fabric is also a material used frequently by fibre artists to create needle-woven cloth without a loom, a technology that extends, not restricts, creative life. Underneath the “Solvy” is a found linen textile, perhaps formerly used for Christian liturgy. The exquisite hand-drawn threadwork depicting wheat sheaves recalls the gospel words" "Unless the grain of wheat die..."  I have added my own “maker’s marks” to this cloth by rust printing and stitching it to recall its history, not to claim patents. The stitched marks speak of future worlds, incompletely known but hoped for; iconic rounded shapes that recall seed forms… Each time we bury a seed, we plant hope, not bury it.