2009 – Mixed Media
Plaster, wood, cotton, silk, wool, synthetic fibres, feathers, buttons, copper, paper, beads.
28 x 25 x 25cm

This sculpture represents my textile heritage and is rich in symbolism. The suggestion is that I have textiles in the veins (or blood) and this (skills, knowledge and talent) has been passed down from my grandmother to my mother and then to me. It is a treasure (signified by the cupped hand) which can’t be contained (a passion and desire for textiles that is uncontainable and has to be expressed) and is abundant (abundant skills, abundant fibres, abundant heritage). There are a number of ‘containers’ (which refers to my love of containers, boxes, nooks and crannies!) – horn of plenty/cornucopia idea, with ‘stuff’ (including ‘milk and honey’, ie. bee and silk) spilling out which reinforces the idea of ‘uncontainable’ and ‘abundant’.
The little doll in the hand is something I knitted when I was a girl – the significance being that the skills I learnt as a girl were and are a treasure, and the little girl has grown up (signified by the fact that the doll is small in an adult size hand). On the little girl’s hand is an origami crane made with paper and silk fabric – origami is a skill I learnt many years ago; represents a connection I have with Japan; symbolises a paper fabric journey waiting to be embarked on; and gives a sense of freedom for the future as the crane looks like it is ready to fly off.
The large brown piece of textiles is a ‘granny’ square I crocheted when I was primary school age. It is representative of one of the treasured skills learnt as a child which is now being taken over by other textile pursuits, but is still one of the foundations of my creativity. The green cotton reels and buttons were my grandmother’s, and the crocheted doily around the bottom, even though it was not my grandma’s, is symbolic of her as she was a brilliant crocheter.
I have included other objects and techniques learnt over the years (bobbin lace, stumpwork, embroidery, knitting, crochet and weaving) and some experiments from my time at TAFE (the basket, needle felted cornucopia and copper french knitting which is sitting on my old wooden french knitting spool from when I was a young girl). These things signify skills learnt from my mother (for example – embroidery, knitting, crochet) and also others learnt independently or from others. I have also included different un-worked fibres – wool, silk, synthetic yarns and Angelina fibres which show some of what I will work with in the future, or am yet to explore.