My latest work continues to employ my second generation technique to capture the essence of migration, movement, and the passing of time. The first two felts in this series are Through the Hills in Search of Water and Beyond the Hills Lies Cool Water. Both capture a sense of the barriers to migration and the potential rewards that motivate departure. I have just created two new ones - The Hills were our Gardens before the Drought - referring to the now barren hills and To the Coast to Wait for Nightfall - referring to the plans to escape. I created a sister piece At Sunrise We Land: Run to the Hills that concludes one phase of the asylum seekers' journey. Down River simply recognizes that rivers have been well-used migration routes for centuries.
Stops on the Journey to Canada - SOLD
This felt was inspired by a small Canadian Pacific Railway map book that my grandparents acquired during their arrival in Eastern Canada in the late 1940s. I created transparencies from the map of clusters of stops along the road/railway. They are tucked into the resist holes. In the north of this impressionistic Canada, I put a waterfall image - symbol of the many water barriers and of course no rail access.
Framed 12"x36" & sewn on a vintage white table cloth - alternative possibilities available.
Let's ride the rails and stop to sample the beauty of this country.
Stops on the Journey - detail
Showing stops in Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.
Stops on the Journey to Canada
In its new home.
Through the Hills in Search of Water
11" x 43" mounted
With silk image of Watering Holes I covering the hills, knitted copper wire, slide of zebra
A confusion of paths, ridges, mirages can lead the unwary astray. The night is cool after a long journey.
Shown in Migration: the Canadian Contemporary Felt Exhibition in BC Sept 25-Oct 17, 2016
Through the Hills in Search of Water (detail)
This slide is hidden in the resist holes. See the grazing zebra?
Beyond the Hills Lies Cool Water
14"x 26" hangs either way, mounted to float from the wall
Handmade wool and silk felt with embedded silk image of Watering Holes and knitted copper wire. Slide is of women walking on a road from my Zambia collection.
Imagining a journey through dusty terrain then over the hills at nightfall lie pools of water.
Beyond the Hills Lies Cool Water - Detail
With knitted copper wire, silk rope, resist holes, African porcupine quill, slide of water buffalo, silk image of "Watering holes I"
To the Coast - Wait for Nightfall
14" x 26" mounted. Slight modification to the original not shown in this picture. The second dark hole is now stuffed with a cocoon instead of a slide.
Handmade wool and silk felt with embedded cocoons, hills covered with silk from "Excavated" , a slide of sunset in the water..
The coast seems to represent a path to safety and hope. But we also perish here where the land and sea merge.
Detail of To the Coast
Looking out to sea from the top of the hills
You can see the fine silk fibre on the hill top.
At Sunrise We Land: Run to the Hills
The arrival story for asylum seekers. This felt builds on both second generation techniques and the addition of hills and secret slides. The transparency on the left is of a listing fishing boat. The idea comes from Issac Jacobs film "Small Boats" on asylum seekers. The red on shore symbolizes the clothing and other possessions washed on shore and the loss of life.
Mounted 14" x 45" - hangs horizontally or vertically.
A long journey to safety or another step on another long journey?
At Sunrise We Land - Detail
Silk for clothes on the shoreline. Can the quills protect?
At Sunrise We Land -detil
Detail of hills - covered in silk images
These hills were our gardens before the drought
14" x 24" mounted
Handmade wool and silk felt with embedded faint silk images of fields from the "Growing Soup" felt.
A slide in the resist hole is of women walking down a dusty road in southern Zambia were i worked for four years during the 1980s..Why do we leave places?
Detail of There used to be gardens...
Showing the sky reflected in the slide.
Down River - Detail
9" x 55"
With knitted copper wire, throwsters waste ripples and felt stacks underneath to provide more movement
Rivers aid your escape to new place - step in carefully, this one has some rapids.
These four snapshots of abstracted Canada tell a little different story about the railway than "Stops along the journey to Canada". In the resist holes this time are images of the names of indigenous peoples displaced by the railway or in the case of the BC resist hole, an image of the railway with the Chinese character for ghost superimposed. Ask who is missing. The names of the railway stops - Sovereign, Conquest, Plenty - not such a pretty story.