Ghost Gum Red Heart
This quilt has been inspired by my dear friend and professional photographer Robyn Adams and a poem by Aboriginal elder Bill Neidjie (Kakadu Man).
I feel that I must share with you first the poem. It so strongly moved me and truly embodies the theme of "Togetherness".
I love it tree because e love me too.
E watching me same as you.
Tree e working with your body, my body,
E working with us.
While you sleep e working.
Daylight, when you walking around e working too.
That tree, grass....that all like our Father.
Dirt, earth, I sleep with this earth.
Grass.....just like your Brother.
In my blood in my arm this grass.
This dirt for us because we'll be dead,
Well be going this earth.
This the story now.
Bill Neidjie (1989)
My friend Robyn had just returned from a trip to central Australia. She had taken some absolutely stunning photos in of the Devils Marbles or Karlu Karlu. She presented me with three amazingly beautiful photos. I was mesmerised. That morning I had stumbled upon the poem written by Bill Neidjie and the lights just went on in my head and the idea for this quilt come to life in my imagination.
We are all connected on this planet. Without trees, there would be no us. No air to breath, no fruit to eat, no cooling shelter and no rain.
In the forest, under the ground is a completely hidden world. A complex network of roots and fungi. Trees use their root system and the fungi to communicate, nurture and support each other in this amazing unseen web. For together they are stronger. Trees connected in this way live longer and create whole ecosystems for other plants and animals around them. One could not survive without the other. We live together on this planet in a delicate balance.
I have always been fascinated by trees. Right from when I was very young my father worked in the forest and often took me with him. It was such a magical place. The air is fresher, the light more subtle and the feeling more invigorating among the trees.
I have spent many hours on this work and enjoyed every moment. I love using batik fabric for the background of my work, I think they create rich depth and movement. The centre circle is a piece of naturally dyed silk. I am fortunate enough to live in a rain-forest in the highlands of Tasmania. I collect leaves from the forest floor to dye the silk. I love this process as I get to spend time outside collecting and dying. I often add these pieces of silk to my work as I feel like I am sharing a little bit of the essence of where I live with others. After the batik and silk are in place I then free motion stitch everything down using cotton threads. Then the fun part happens when I stitch in the trees and leaves. My work is a cross between free-motion quilting and freestyle embroidery. This work was stitched with my Sweet Sixteen sewing machine.
Each of my textile artworks holds within its fibers the essence of the Tasmanian Rainforest that grows on my property at Golden Valley. The silk used in each work is hand dyed with the gum leaves collected from the forest floor.
The trees are lovingly freestyle stitched on my sewing machine by hand making each and every one unique. The background is 100% cotton fabric. The work is ready to hang on your wall, signed, given a number and a certificate.
Each work is unique and created without the use of a computerized sewing machine.
Trees numbers 875 to 915
75cm x 75cm x .5cm
I donate $2 for every tree stitched and sold to Landcare Tasmania.