Half awake, half asleep, I was thinking of tangled tree limbs seen through broken windows. I knew they were waiting to be revealed.
And so in this morning’s quiet I began the process of removing and revealing. There are gentle sounds associated with this studio work. The spray of water from the hose onto outside concrete wetting the paper. A gentle breaking of the surface of the vinegar- soap solution with the dipping of my cloth. And the rhythmic rubbing. Rubbing. Peeling away the paper to reveal the image on the muslin below.
Discovering the images as they emerge is itself a new way of seeing. Before I transferred, the paper copy was a mirror image of what will finally be revealed. Rubbing away the paper film is a discovering of the shapes that interested me from the onset, but now reversed, patterned in a new way.
As I rubbed, discovered, revealed I remembered the experience of shooting the photographs. We were in rural South Carolina, and an abandoned, roofless, vine-filled house was waiting for me. The walk to the house was through a thick bed of pine needles. Wind whispered in the pine trees. The photos I recorded capture that feeling of stillness and loss.
Who lived there? How did the house become abandoned? How long has it been decomposing? Does anyone visit this place? What memories might it hold?
Once the images are assembled as part of a large quilted work, I want the composition to invite the viewer in by conjuring up questions. The questions will become another layer. Memory layer. Captured photo layer. Composed layer. Fabric layer. Dream layer. All held within the tangled tree limbs and broken windows.