Thankyou, Alan Watts. You are absolutely correct..... I am feeling the urge now, to get back to baskets. Which in turn, led me to consider, how do I describe my practice, and does it actually matter?? The basket pictured was a commission, whose 16 or so materials included fodder, cotton thread, puffball and chlorophyll dyed silk, nasturtium (seeds and plant) junctus krausii (reeds which are found near the Swan River) and Indian Lovegrass, to name a few....
Very often my baskets will carry an embedded history and meaning.
This one speaks of land and sea and the whole life cycle of food, human and animal from farm to suburbia to coast, with the base made from Peaceful Bay grasses and various other Western Australian coastal dwelling flora. Within the base, still visible among the stitches, are the soft grey, downy feathers of beach birds.
I happen to have found myself in love with basketry and portraiture.....two vastly different mediums, but as necessary for me to be creating as breathing. My work with fibre textiles has other consequences...split skin on fingers, broken nails, seeds and bits embedding themselves in every nook and cranny, an inability to clench my hand with swollen joints when a basket is nearing completion......yet, I would not have it any other way - The gathering of materials, choosing threads, reusing and dyeing of fabric and the freedom to coil in such a free form way, adds to the exciting journey of creating a completely unique piece with it's own story to tell. On balance, portraiture feels to me to be the cool, serene, more controlled, almost exacting work which can require as much concentration, until a certain point where the details become extremely important. I often find myself frustrated with trying to define my practice. I over think, or find myself intellectualising far too much...... Of late I have had what I consider to be a small breakthrough, however...it no longer matters to me, or indeed feels necessary to have the title of this or that - it is just enough to humbly acknowledge that each creation and the medium from whence it grew is a 'chip off the old block', and will go with a small piece of me, when it eventually leaves.