I make maps and add stories to them. I make many small samples in cloth to test which combinations of materials, technique, colour combinations, stitch etc. best bring out the map’s story. My process starts with an exact and nearly monochromatic base and becomes more spontaneous and colorful as the stories come to life. I start with an actual map, blow it up and print it onto interfacing. Hand-dyed silk organza is layered and cut back to render contours of the land; the human grid is then stitched, houses appliqued and other inhabitants such as fish, birds or zooplankton are embroidered.
In the belief that all news is local I have been focusing on my neighborhood looking for stories and histories in the maps. The transition from First Nations settlements on the coast, to widespread logging, farming, and commuting shows how we connect (or not) with our natural surroundings. Our attitudes are manifest in road maps, aerial photos, and parcel divisions. How we interact with creatures who share the bounty and how we move into the future will show our adaptability and imagination. First we have to know what’s happening: not out there, but here.
In the Mapping series I explore the surface of the earth and human attempts to impose order on natural forces. most recently I’m exploring life in my neighbourhood. Within walking distance a number of global trends can be seen such as a change in land use from farming to residential, attempts to reclaim habitat and the ongoing tension between development and conservation.
The series called Going, is a visual journal. Maps of where I’ve been are overlaid with imagery representing external and/or internal landscapes.
In Stratigraphy I show imprints left deep in the earth by past environments and events.
In the Walnut Zen series walnut husks from a tree on our property collaborates with silk, heat, water and air to create fluid shapesand subtle tones of colour on the cloth.