The Foraged Drawings series reveals the interdisciplinary nature and layers within my process. I began this body of work with an intention to unearth a felt something within me that had no projected physical outcome; the intention was as much to unearth as it was to navigate through.
I began by following “rules” of drawing using pen and paper; however, I realized that these were someone else’s rules and definitions of drawing that had developed over centuries of male-dominated influence, and felt oppressive for me. The deconstructive burning process in the piece I’ve tried you on signifies my transition towards non-representational, gestural mark-making using non-traditional materials.
The ink used on the paper and fabric drawings is handmade from foraged, sustainably sourced materials (eucalyptus leaves, seaweed, pine needles, moss, lichen, avocado seed and skin, onion skin) to capture visually-associative data about the local winterscape of my urban ecosystem. The minimally-processed colours change over time and imbue a sense of impermanence.
This body of work documents an excavation of (my)self. In letting go of perceived expectations, the greater and deeper I felt into internal pockets of grief, entwined within the process of making, connecting with the earth, and of integrating childhood.
The intimate action of touching diverse mediums reminded me of the moments that I first handled textiles and the profound comfort that they brought me. By intuitively working between disciplines, I converse between the historically male-dominated field of drawing and the typically-identified female hobbies of hand-stitching and crochet. Craft and art become interrelated and equally valid.
The juxtaposition between handmade and industrialization is also subtly addressed. This body of work used “scraps” leftover from previous projects, whether the materials were purchased at local small businesses or thrift stores, or made by hand. Each work represents acts of labour and resource management that are often disparate in the contemporary manufacturing process. The work questions what was, what is, and what could be at a personal and public scale.