In my mixed media sculptures, I have been exploring the isolated relationship of each viewer with their individual environment, and how that relates to the viewer’s personal relationship with nature. I bring traditional weaving, paper, and sculptural practices into the modern light of a world affected by climate change and abstract it in order to add to the ongoing dialogue about the environment.
I found that kozo, a mulberry bark fiber, had the most exciting history with heavily prominent roots in papermaking. Kozo consists of long fibers that can create a strong, thin paper most commonly used as washi (Japanese paper). It takes a lot of time to prepare and involves many steps such as cooking and beating.
In my current work, I have been upcycling honeycomb structured cardboard that was donated to the WWU Art and Art History Department called HexWeb® honeycomb. I cut it up into various sizes and shapes and dip these in kozo pulp. Once dry, I weave the pieces into a continuous tapestry type structure.
After creating the large structure, I spend some time photographing and filming the piece in different places I occupy, evoking my isolated relationship with this work. It’s becoming an extension of myself, my second “skin” protecting me from the outside world, particularly during the chaotic current time of COVID-19. It can be a nest, or a shelter, and utilizing the work now through a performance I can reconnect myself to the natural world.
Image: Skin (Detail). HexWeb honeycomb, kozo / 6 x 5 ft.