Materials: Recycled textiles, thread, brooch pin
Dimensions: approx. 7cm
A reflection on the passage of time, Growth Rings are spiral constructions that consider the lives and experiences of trees in relation to those of human beings. Trees are our environmental companions, for whom we should show care and consideration. Tree rings are an indelible record of the times in which the tree has lived. The lean years and the prosperous, the wet and the dry, the cold and the hot; all are recorded during the process of aging along with the physical evidence of attack or damage. In contrast people rely on memories, also accumulated over a lifetime, including scars that mark the body, mind or soul.
The form of the spiral suggests the repetition of annual cycles and the growth that we experience as seconds, hours, weeks and years. While our nervous system responds in milliseconds, electrical impulses in trees have been measured in millimetres per minute, suggesting a different perception of time and qualities that we admire in trees and wish ourselves to possess; patience, endurance, strength, resilience and perseverance.
By stitching recycled textiles to create these works, I reference narratives of intimacy and daily rituals through sustained use and contact with the body. Reuse invokes a variety of traditional practices, including the “making do” that was associated with thrift and self-reliance in the time of our grandmothers and great grandmothers. Each stich is a moment in time in which I display a care for the process, the accuracy of the stitch, control of the tension and the development of form. With each stitch, I remember and reflect on the making and the making of meaning in art practice.