Fruity Bodies is a multimedia installation that explores folklore with landscape and the human form, focusing on the female body,menstruation and native plants. The work uses native plants and dyes in its execution, and is based on local roads, lands and fields.
Reflecting on the seasonal and cyclical nature of growth and decay that is echoed in the female reproductive organs, I am interested in making abstract, hybrid connections between non human entities and our human selves. It is a way to explore identity, empathy for our natural environment & to better understand the human condition.
I want to explore a contemporary interpretation of traditional folklore, and the metaphysical gap between humans & plants – and how to view our bodies as extensions of a living landscape.
The artworks in Gallery 1 are juxtaposed against one another in conflict of luckiness and unluckiness, based on research into folklore and plants. The Seven Herbs that nothing natural or supernatural can injure, are placed next to the unlucky hawthorn branch has has been brought inside, beside the anthotype of the double ended briar - walking under one on halloween night was said to invoke the devil.
The found hawthorn tree branch is dotted and pierced with sheepswool stuffed seeds, fruits, breasts and ovums. Cotton material is dyed with hawthorn leaves, blackberries, elderberries, briars, pine cones and bracken ferns.
Documenting winter to spring, the The Luteal Phase - blackberry dyed wool on the hawthorn, and On the rag tree is also intended as a May tree tribute, documented over a week as the rain and winds washed the dyes from the fabric. Offerings were placed on May trees to take away sickness, once the fabric withered so did your ailment. The Cailleach Bhearra's are interpretations of the childless, yet fruitful others who reflect on the cyclical nature of the land and the body.
In Gallery 2 the blackberry wool hawthorn tree, in varying stages of decay, echoes the four stages of the menstrual cycle, the full lustrous and growing Luteal phase, the dripping menstruation phase, the follicular phase, then ovulation.
The video is placed bewtween 2 period calendars, the average lenght of my menstrual cycle 2021, with accompanying flowers, seeds and leaves and a found egg and Months of Moons 2022, documenting the nightly moon from October to January, when the full moon coincided with the start of my period. These 'calendars' are loose interpretations of cycles and ailments, time and waiting.
If you pass under a briar rooted at both ends, you can invoke the devil.
Blackberry Anthotype – Blackberry dye, watercolour paper, left to expose in the sun for two weeks, double ended briar.
The Cailleach Bhearra II
Blackberry Anthotype on top of digital print– Blackberry dye, blackberry leaves, left to expose in the sun for two weeks, Giclée print on cotton rag.
The Cailleach Bhearra III
Hand embroidery, blackberry thread, blackberry sheeps wool, hawthorn thread, acorn thread, pine cone thread, dock seed thread, cheat-day normal shop bought brown thread, on acorn and iron water dyed calico.
It's considered unlucky to bring a hawthorn branch inside, or to cut one down.
Found Hawthorn branch, cotton and calico sheepswool stuffed cysts, ovums, breasts and follicles dyed with Blackberries, elderberries, pine cones, briars and bracken ferns.
Left - The Luteal Phase
One sheeps pelt, washed and scoured from Mooneys farm, dyed with blackberries, Hawthorn tree, time and the fields,Giclée print on cotton rag.
On the Rag Tree / Offering Tree
Offerings were placed on May trees to take away sickness, once the fabric withered so did your ailment, Giclée print on cotton rag.