The sounds of an early morning walk over fallen pine needles and the lookout crow spots me, she never misses a shift. Does she have someone to lean on? To take over the duties for a while so she can rest? I wonder about this but quickly lose my thought and the crow as a wind zips through the canyon and rattles past me. My skin perks up into a million tiny hills and my hair wraps around my face, completely tangling me in the action. Though I know my feet are connected to the ground, the rest of my body is swept into the orchestra of smells attached to the swift current. Then all is still. All of this in an instant; a reminder to notice even the invisible - especially the invisible.
I would be a fool to think I could mimic the majesty of nature, she is far more sophisticated than I. Though what she embarks on me is a deep reverence. With her overwhelming complexities of creatures, botanicals, sounds, colors, and smells I hope to capture the felt sense of her. Can I create work that could elicit the feelings I receive when I am outdoors? With my sculptures, the aim is to encompass the viewer with other-worldly textures, hues, and spaces; to transport them into a different realm as the natural world does to me.
My pieces can be touched and explored. They are dyed by the colors of the soil, food, and plants and made by acts of seeing, feeling, dyeing, wrapping, threading, and spinning. My hands move like the women of my ancestry who sewed and mending for practical uses at home. Though their work was often demoted and called merely the women’s work, their steadfast devotion allowed them to have their own corner of creativity in an often regimented life. The creation of my grandmother and mother’s stitching circles brought friends, sisters, and neighbors together making women’s work one to be celebrated together. As I work I feel woven to this history and storytelling. What do I have to contribute, what should be remembered and honored?
My work explores the discussion between the feminine and the natural world. Is there a separation? Are they elements tied to one another? The rootedness I feel on my daily explorations in the wilderness propels me to engage in the conversation through my pieces. Each rope is a line in the answers I seek. Each wrapping of the yarn is a prayer to Mother Earth. And each exhibition is a desire to share her glory with others. Peery Sloan August 2021