Villages the world over dominate the places where they’re rooted. Humans have settled for so very long in many of them in one form or another. It’s no wonder so many people think they own the land where they live.
The land we call America is still Wild. Trees and Land dominate this place. We humans talk about owning land, but that’s fantasy. The Land owns us. Mother Nature has made space for us, but she’s still very much in-charge of the show.
Our Place is about showing respect to the Wild Beings whose guests we are here. It’s a reminder of how small we truly are next to the powerful Spirits who have shaped the land where we live. It’s also a celebration of our neighbors, human and non-human alike. Our Place in this Land is best when we’re in harmony with our neighbors and when we acknowledge that the Land owns us, through and through.
- Materials: Hand-dyed cotton, cotton-polyester thread.
- Series: American Village
- Size: 20 inches x 28.5 inches (50 cm x 72 cm)
- Completed: 2023
- Current location: Private Collection
My Thoughts on the Work
I began Our Place as a Start in the January 2023 Starts Project. It was done in the second week, after which our group leader suggested some of us might want to work further on one before the February Valley South SAQA meeting. I knew straight away which I wanted to finish. I’d had a flash of a vision of how I would do it.
I combined my own dyed fabrics with commercially dyed ones, some from my scraps collection and some that came as a gift from Franny Carol after the 2022 Starts Project. I wanted to portray the hugeness of the American landscape and the smallness of we humans who’ve settled here.
While many other countries have had villages and settlements of all sorts for centuries upon centuries, here houses are relatively new to the landscape. We have loads of modern neighborhoods and roads and buildings, but still the wilderness is Wild.
The way I see it, the Trees and the Land dominate still. That’s what Our Place is about, recognizing the relationship we have here with the Native Spirits and where we stand in their land.