Recently I watched a video of a bird weaving a nest. I was mesmerized. The process is one for which I truly do not have adequate words. Wondrous. Intricate. Detailed. Elaborate. Complex.
On my worktable today I have been looking at the image of a bird nest that I am working into an art quilt – not yet named – but part of the series “Home is what you remember.” I found a beautiful nest several years ago and photographed it. I have transferred the photo onto fabric and I am allowing the delicate woven patterns to take center stage in this composition.
It is the perfect visual metaphor for home. In my own life journey, “home” and all its meanings are as complex as the intertwined twigs in this image. I believe most people’s feelings about home are very complex. Most of us have some fondness for a home – maybe our original home, maybe one we chose later in life. Those feelings are sometimes mixed with intense longing. Or, the memories may be confusing. Or difficult. Or hurtful.
I have worked with a photographic image of a nest in several previous pieces, using detailed stitching to define the twig shapes. I discovered two things.
First, awe. Tracing the patterns of this object created by a bird is inspiring. As I follow the line of a twig, then start and stop at points of intersection, I am experiencing the deep complexity of the construction.
Second, the sweep of memory. Immersing myself in the sound of the sewing machine chug-chugging, tracing the lines comprising the nest, feeling the rhythm of the image; these actions create an almost trance-like absorption in the process. It allows me to travel to memories and dreams of home and all that it means to me.
This series about home is tapping into some of the deepest parts of my own life experience. I hope that the details and patterns will speak deeply to those who look at the art as well.
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