Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Land of Plenty (the unravelling)

And here we are again in the Land of Plenty… 9 workshops in and 3 to go before the final event this Friday. We now have an idea of what the installation will look like and where it is to be located. installing it will involve making an opening through an existing fence to lead visitors from the public area of De Site to the wilder and closed-off area, now overgrown with grasses, flowers, shrubs and trees growing between concrete slabs. These plants have provided us with materials to work with but despite our daily foraging excursions, we have hardly impacted on the wild surroundings.

Thinking about this now, I might have adopted a more radical approach when cutting back the vegetation; the site is to be built on next year so this could have been an ideal opportunity to have cut down a few trees to produce something truly monumental. Instead, I’ve proceeded with much economy and lightness of touch as usual. I didn’t want to disrupt the environment too much so that when the installation is up, it might appear as if it had grown there too.

This might almost have been the case if it wasn’t for the selection of bright and occasional fluorescent colours the women the Oya Atelier chose to stitch with. Seeing them in action I get a sense their choice was a reaction to the previous project, led by Daniela Dossi, which had them do much detailed work, working mostly with muted colours and according to specific instructions.

Back to this project, our plan then is to mark the end of the project by stitching a structure between trees to hold all the pieces created over the last three weeks. The fruits of the women's labour will be suspended on this net of threads and invite visitors to walk through the more inaccessible and wilder parts of De Site before the bulldozers move in.

This Friday 26th from 6.30 onwards, the installation will be ready for viewing and visitors invited to make their final contribution to it before we unravel it, row by row, until there is nothing left but a crop of stitched 'fruits' on the floor. Some of these will go back to the atelier, others I'll take back to London where I’ll present them as a collection of objects to be traded or exchanged at the forthcoming Market of Values on July 11th. This new collection will then make its way back to the Oya atelier in Ghent. More on this and the Oya stitching tradition in my next posts. See some of you on Friday hopefully for the completion, and unravelling, of the installation. Details of the event can be found here.

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