Evoking Natural Forms
Fragile Earth is a body of work evoking natural forms such as trees, pods, flowers, insects, sea life, water. The materials used - recycled paper, handmade paper, silk waste, silk, cotton scrim - are ghostly, white and ephemeral, suggesting delicate, fragile, finely balanced and vulnerable landscapes.
The work had its origins during the first lockdown when it felt as if the world as we knew it was collapsing – not only was the environment under extraordinary threat, with climate change and habitat loss demonstrated clearly all around us, but our society too was crumbling because of a rampaging virus.
I started a project called ‘Disintegration/Things Fall Apart’ and was very pleased to be awarded Arts Council England funding to help in its development. Initially my idea was for the pieces to form a white and ghostly landscape, a reminder of what we once had but have now lost. However as the work progressed I decided a better name would be Fragile Earth as I felt it was more optimistic, and reflects my belief that we can still reverse this decline if we work together globally and locally to switch to a circular, carbon free economy, and to protect endangered habitats.
Some of the issues faced by the environment are evoked in the pieces. Plastic Everywhere: Ocean is part of a series that shows how our love affair with plastic has infiltrated every area of our planet including our seas ‘Ghostly Gum’ refers to the massive loss of primary eucalyptus forest, and all the species they support, in the Australian bushfires of 2019/20, and to the vast numbers that are felled every year for agriculture and land clearance. I like using pod forms, as they represent nurture, protection, and new life, and by making them in delicate materials such as chiffon, or lacy scrim dipped in paper pulp, I am indicating that these forms too are fragile and in the balance.