I'm adding the final few stitches to pieces for Home Ground, an exhibition opening later this month at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. The work is inspired by investigations, archive research and community-based projects over the last year around the site of a former local dye works, once the biggest in the world.
I have been regularly walking the perimeter of the site, now post-industrial wasteland, overgrown with weeds, or rather plants out of place. Rosebay willow herb, hawthorn, wild currant, buddleja and yarrow all flourish unchecked and these plants have become my palette of dyes for both wool and thread. Regional variations in this type of liminal plant life, local soil and historical human activity all impact on the colour produced.
I collect these plant materials on my walks and the dyes are worked and absorbed gradually into locally-produced wool. Embedded stitches echo my walking patterns around the site, stitching themselves into the landscape.
Home Ground, a group exhibition exploring local heritage and environment through different crafts - from traditional skills and resources, to contemporary installations is at The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey 20th September - 19th November 2014.