I use the garden as a metaphor for life.
Life is limited therefore, time is precious. I use embroidery because, though the materials are common, the time it takes cultivates preciousness. The idea that something you spent so much time on might be cut up or destroyed makes people uncomfortable.
The work is also about choices. Each new layer grows on the landscape of previous design choices. Each choice, no matter how strong or weak, is left in. Strong choices are highlighted and mistakes are obscured. Bad choices do not disappear, instead they become the landscape that new choices navigate and the infrastructure that holds up future growth. As time goes by nothing is safe from the mandate of the new.
Older pieces show an evolution of technique and style. Earlier on I used brighter colors, much more crochet and flat running stitches. More recently the colors have become muted and there is an emphasis on stumpwork. Moving forward I will be including more wire and beading. In this sense the work is a series of indexical marks that track the evolution of my process.
New growth often preserves the older sediment, only to be unearthed later when cut into. The archaeology of cutting into the work for transport is as important as the growth and destruction. The impermanence of something that so much time and care goes into reflects life. Much like with family memories, photographic documentation is the best way to preserve some idea of what once was. Photos show the evolution of the the design and how it adapts to different environments.
The location of the installation is not as important as how it navigates the shape and limitations of whatever space it is installed in. It grows around the nuances of that particular space, picking up some of its physical characteristics. When its time at a location is over it is cut into pieces for transport. The process creates a sort of trauma. A bit that might have taken hours to sew is cut in half or covered when reinstalled. But like plants, the trauma of cutting creates growth. The way I work with the materials is very much like tending to a garden, the materials are grown rather than built.