Signals

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

Observation

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. These vital organisms transform death into raw materials for life to begin again.

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Protocol & Materials

In New England, the fall season signals dormancy or the end of life for plants & animals. This artwork was created during this time 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 shaped leaves emerged. These forms exhibited characteristics of  human vertebrae, cranium, and lung forms.

Conclusion

In this experiment, I noticed evidence of a funerary ritual dressed up in Nature’s rhythms. The data interpretation came from connecting external seasonal changes with events in my personal life.