We asked member Carmen Garcia since questions about her piece for the Endangered exhibition, entitled “The last trace”.
The Exhibition title- Endangered?- how does your piece respond to the title? your inspiration and methods etc
I chose the trace of the Hawksbill Turtle, one of the many critically endangered species. First, because of the beautiful pattern it leaves in the sand, which I thought it would work well in felt. But also, because of the turtle being a symbol of slowness, a quality with negative connotations in our collective psyche. By using the slow process of felt making, this quality is celebrated.
I used natural white and brown Icelandic wool for this project. I love using this wool in sculpture, especially if I need transparency, as I did in this case. I used flax fibers, Tussah silk tops and silk rods for texture.
The idea was to create a basic bell structure. The turtle trace and other simple traces were sculpted in the structure using resistances and creating a finer more transparent mark to let the light through.
Crafting through the current crisis, with the pandemic have you found more or less time to craft, has it inspired you or have you found it more difficult- discuss
I have crafted, but I haven’t felted much.
I normally make hats, scarves and vessels that I sell online , in shops and at Gifted Craft Fair. But during the lockdown I felt I needed some distancing. Like many of us, I felt the need of re-assessing things. I had the pull to stop whatever it was that I was doing, and do something different. I love stitching, so, I started an embroidery course, and it really felt right in that situation. Maybe it had to do with the way things were controlled in the small cloths amidst the uncontrollable situation around us. But also, I enjoyed the repetition and its calming effects, I found it extremely therapeutic. It also provided new ways of looking at things and, who knows, maybe new directions.
Felt- how you discovered it, what it means to you
Like most things, by chance. I attended a Felt workshop at Phizzfest (Arts Festival in Phibsborough). I thought it was magic!
I love the way it brings us back to basics. So little needed…fibers, soap, water. No equipment needed, just our hands , our bodies, with no separation from the piece.
I also like the way we do not control it completely. Unintended things happen that can not be undone… and we have to work with that. Sometimes getting more than we expected and always learning from it.
The slow pace of the process is also something I am attracted to. You can get faster… but to a certain point.
It’s like a metaphor for life: it takes the time it takes, you are where you are, and that’s fine.