Instead I worked on the naturally dyed wool gauze samples and yarn remnants, hand stitching and darning them while I recovered – a strangely appropriate process of slowing down and mending cloth.
While in Japan a few years ago I was fascinated by the Aomori Textile Museum in Tokyo which houses an amazing collection of boro (“rags”) textiles (1) from the Aomori region in North Honshu. This region was too cold for cotton; only hemp could be grown and the people were incredibly poor. They used every scrap of hemp they could produce, reusing, mending and layering garments for longevity and warmth.
These Boro exhibits influenced my resultant wall hanging – piecing together and darning layers of gauze produced “of the land” that is local to me. A week exposed to the elements in my garden has resulted in a further worn and felted look.
The fabric can be hung from the ceiling in space so that both sides are visible.
(1) Yukiko Kiode and Kuoichi Tsuzuki (2008) Boro: Rags and tatters from the far north of Japan, ASPECT Corp, Tokyo, Japan