Drawing from both historical weaving patterns and their applications as well as from series of tree related biological blights and human driven near-extinction events, this series asks about our ability to recognize and heal the harms we cause. Can we bind the things we are actively tearing apart and recognize our fragile reliance on the very thing we are damaging before it is too late? Each piece of wood used in this collection came from an ecologically and environmentally sound source. Blending textile and tree in woven panels of wood, each from a dead or dying species, they have been bound back together with silk utilizing the three-hop pattern found in the Shroud of Turin, questioning whether these will be the stitches to heal our damages or the burial shroud they will be wrapped it.
BINDING WHAT'S LOST, ASH
30 1/2" W x 43 1/2" H x 1 7/8" D
American Ash, Silk, Painted Ash
American Ash is currently experiencing a catastrophic blight caused by the emerald ash borer, a non-native beetle thought to have been brought to America in shipping materials from Asia while in a dormant state. Celebrating this species, the sculpture employs a bookmatch of two 1/16 inch slices of Ash, unique in color, figure and shape. The mirroring, doubling effect of the bookmatch highlights the contrast between lighter sapwood—recent growth—and the older, darker heartwood.
The 26 Ash strips are woven together using pale gray organic remnant silk as the weft threads in a three over one herringbone pattern, the same pattern used in the famous burial shroud, the Shroud of Turin. The artist made frame is in matte black painted Ash, in sharp juxtaposition with the transparency offered by the weave.
There are three sculptures which have been created in this series to date. In addition to Ash, Michael has woven one in Chestnut and one in Redwood Root, seen below.