Away from home visiting relatives in the depths of the countryside with better WiFi speeds than home – so photos in record time for me. Words update 8.4.16.
Wrapped flint napped tool found near Walpole Bay.
I wanted to wrap something precious. I chose the flint for a number of reasons. It is symbolic of man’s ability to create out of his environment. When almost everything was taken from me, my voice, almost my sanity, my hopes and dreams and trust, I looked to nature and it sustained me. I believe that all the answers to every question, asked or not yet imagined, exist out there in Nature. We have to open our sense to these answers. The flint reminds me that there is a way out there. It symbolises hope and trust. This is wrapped in words from the sacrificial dictionary – words allow us to communicate what we hope and feel and trust. This is the next layer I wish to keep safe.
I wrapped this all up in the twine like a gift, for what else is trust and voice?!
Step 1- broken barbie – this doll has always reminded me of the story ‘the Girl who was made of Glass’
Once the symbolism started emerging in the making, many many metaphors started to well up. My children have decided for themselves that it is time to pass on the doll toys. They haven’t played with them for about a year and these were precious, they served their purpose (I don’t think they were played with in a stereotypical manner – by any stretch of the imagination) but don’t hold any emotional depth in the same way that their playmobil and sylvanians do. Most are going off to other homes except for this one. I don’t know what Barbie this was but she used to light up and has translucent sparkly blue legs. One foot has sheered off and disappeared. I can’t remember how she was wounded. She needed a new purpose.
First I wrapped her in orange tissue to express what wrapping means to me – a silencing, blinding, disfiguring shroud. I wanted to show that even when the head is cut off from the rest of the world the heart still wins through. The yellow fabric was a snippet from the parcel of prayer-flag goodies from Sheena. A gift that is very precious and significant to me. I had taken this swatch to a workshop with Cas Holmes and being unable to work out what it was made of she showed me how to discover whether it was natural or man-made by burning it. This story seemed symbolic to me in the light of life challenges. Sometimes it feels that we are put to the flame to find out what we are made of. I left her arms wide as an open gesture and an effort still to embrace life even when the wrapping has started to take over. The next layer of tulle was chosen to signify how once trapped it is difficult to unwrap oneself from the net and the more you struggle the tighter the binds hold and cut into your very being. I bound her foot. I used again the last threads donated by Sheena as I loved their shine and gloss. They were slippery and kept threatening to unravel – but had they done so the threads would have tripped her up being only able to stand on one foot. It also made me think of the cliché ball and chain, the leg irons that shackled prisoners on the hulks that were moored near here.
Step 2- hiding wounds beneath bandage
The next stage was prompted by the posture the doll had now taken, arms pinned to side, she looked like a mummy. The Egyptians wrapped their mummies after various processes to preserve them for their after life of immortality. Perhaps if she were bandaged she could be kept safe until such a time as she could be healed, brought back to life. The twine was wrapped in the same manner as one would wrap a bandage – a kind of diagonal lapping.
Step 3 – hiding it all under a neat wrapping with a pretty lace face for the world.
The obvious next step was to start adding the false decoration that made a nod at the last layer before the sarcophagus. This return of colour and beauty that the original body had held. I wrapped as in the first exercise and she took on a mermaid type form. A creature that can survive underwater and above the surface. All that remained was to return a false face – the intricate feminine patterned lace, her face bloomed again.
Wrapped in an armour of words
Here’s my awkward shaped object to wrap. Tissue paper, embroidery yarns, a return to my favoured palette. It looked like a mummified read squirrel – it still retained an animal form. I wondered what it would look like if I threaded strips of dictionary under and through the network of threads. The result was something like a spiny anteater, or porcupine, a kind of dinosaur hedgehog. I could think of a story to explain this sample but I think it would be contrived. This sample simply evolved from wondering what to do next.