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, CHESTNUT
16 3/4" W x 31 3/4" H x 1 7/8" D
American Wormy Chestnut, Silk, Painted Ash
American Chestnut was once one of the most prolific trees on the Eastern Seaboard, Appalachia and even into the Midwest. Due to a blight brought from Asia in the early 1900s, the entire population of American Chestnuts were killed in just 40 years. The wood saved from these trees, now know as “wormy” Chestnut referring to the worm holes left by the blight, is all we have left from this magnificent species.
The 12 strips from a single board of Chestnut 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 Chestnut, Michael has woven one in Ash and one in Redwood Root, seen below.