ReCOVER is a textile response to bushfire damage and recovery. Through the alchemy of ecological contact printing with plants and slow, meditative stitching on recycled cloth the experience of my crossings over this landscape are traced and recalled.
In March 2020 I travelled to the fire ground around Tianjara Falls in Morton National Park to photograph and ‘map’ the recovery of the bush. After a trip up the Eastern Coast earlier in the year I was inspired to create these series of large textiles pieces.
The works on recycled bed ‘covers’ uses an ecological contact print process to create the background.
The printed textiles were then embellished with stitches emulating the recovery processes and the formation of new life.
Each piece determines a differing impression of my interpretation of the ‘ReCovery’ process.
The stitching approach I refer to as ‘inefficient stitching’. This is a thread reproduction of the ‘inefficient mapping’ I did at the recovering fire ground in Morton National Park.
My mapping or mark making noted the brightness of the new leaves in the late afternoon sunshine, the whispering of the wind or the regrowth and movement of the ground cover.
These large textile responsive pieces can be rolled or hung; laid flat; folded as a vessel for gathering and carrying or used to cloak the body.
In the layering of walking, attending and making, the boundaries between self and the world soften and, at times, dissolve to the point of disappearance.
In early 2020 the beaches of Jervis Bay were littered with ash and burnt leaves from the bushfires. Frightening and destructive as this time was this event left interesting lines and markings on the sand. This piece used a contact print process with heat and steel wool to make the black markings.
Many areas of the fire ground after the 2020 bushfires was covered in grey ash. The regrowth of some of the ground cover and bushes was a grey green. To emulate this effect I used a contact print process with Australian native leaf litter and heat. Iron created the grey colourings on the recycled cotton. The negative spaces of the plant prints were then stitched.
Eco print with iron markings and stitching on recycled cloth.
46x36 cms... $250 each
Nails and steel wool were added to the print with the leaf litter before dyeing to recreate the burnt trees and the fences. The stitching evolved around these markings.
In February 2020 I travelled up the Pacific Highway from Melbourne to the Shoalhaven. The bushfires had left their mark on the landscape. Some areas showed little regrowth but as we travelled north I marvelled that from such devastation I could see tiny coloured sprouting leaves on the Eucalypts. These are called epicormic growth, hence the titles of the works.
As the months progressed the leaves grew up the trunk and along the branches. This evolving ‘treescape’ gave me the inspiration for this series of artworks.