Signals

PLA Resin, Silk. (3) Sewing Needles, Wood, Ink—2018

 

In a woodland ecosystem, flighted animals seek new perches when a tree falls. Microbes, fungi, and invertebrates receive notice that it’s their turn to move in, to transform death into a place for new life.

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In New England, the fall signals dormancy or the end of life for plants & animals. This artwork was created during this season of change.

Part I

The sculpting process began with a stump I kept noticing on weekly forest walks.  With help I brought the artifact home, washed it, & allowed it to dry in the bright sun. Next I carefully cleaned the entire surface and crevices. The final surface was coated with black India ink as a dressing.

Part II

I collected fallen leaves and branches from my yard. This seasonal detritus served as molds for my 3D pen to trace. I manually wove pure silk thread into the extruded resin with my other hand wherever structural strength was needed. At times I stayed true to the original forms. Other times I allowed my imagination to take over. Hybrid forms of leaves merged with vertebrae, cranium, and lung emerged.

For me, the finished work revealed evidence of a funerary ritual dressed up in Nature’s rhythms. The data for this observation came from noticing how external seasonal changes aligned with life changes I experienced simultaneously.