Heirloom is a collection of ‘household linens’ printed with historically recognized garden plants that are now naturalized as weeds. Like family heirlooms that are too beautiful and precious to discard, but too fragile to use, Heirloom speaks of the responsibility and problem of collection.
Bedding: Spread (Queen Anne’s Lace), Cover (Succory Ticking) and Blanket (Briar Rose Counterpane) as well as referring to domestic language associated with bed linens, are also descriptive of the invasive tendencies of these plants. The pre-photographic nature printing technique was used to transfer information from individual blossoms and leaves to a lithographic stone matrix for printing. Printed units were then ‘patched’ together to create the bed-sized pieces echoing the time, utility and beauty of historic women’s work.
Thicket (Setting) is a tablecloth that recalls the tangle of a sweet and thorny bramble patch and my immigrant mother’s desire for more. As a child she often enlisted me for long hot afternoons of berry picking among these thorny patches. For my mother, a well set and laden table was both the reward and the salve for all conflict. The strong, dark red linear pattern of the print is contrasted with its skin-like support on Japanese Gampi paper echoing the raised veins on my mother's thin-skinned hands, and mine as I age.
Thicket (Setting) (Tablecloth for Eight), 178x234 cm, drypoint on Gampi, wheat paste, thread, oiled.
Thicket installation part of O.W.N. (Object, Work, Notation) Curated by Richard Sewell, Open Studio, Toronto 2014.