WILD TAPESTRY May 4th to 28th at David Kaye Gallery.
“The words and art of Wild Tapestry have been developing on two sides of the globe..”
Here is Margi Prideaux’s second essay about her upcoming book Wild Tapestry:Weaving Wildlife Survival. I have a couple of thoughts to share before you read it.
In reading the original synopsis for Margi’s book I had no trouble supporting her point of view. The challenge has been developing visual imagery out of her ideas. My initial approach was to read her writing repeatedly and draw animals on the endangered list. This was engaging; I looked in more detail than I ever had about elephants, snow leopards, kakapo, gorillas, caribou and more. As the drawings proceeded I pondered her living tapestry vision, the weft and warp of such against the over arching realities of climate change and the problems of the existing political approach to conservation (as outlined below and further in the book). Visual ideas that I might compose about these concepts came slowly; Margi’s academic analysis is engaging but here in these two posts you see her ability to write in visual imagery. She has done both for some time but I took awhile to absorb and distinguish each. I have been sketching or doodling almost daily to see what I could do. For me the solutions are in the process. I begin with just a few lines and textures and trust the rest to come. Margi’s word phrases which I use directly in the work are my inspiration. They have assumed their own place there. I could say more here but I want you to read Margi’s next post. Also I know from listening to people respond to my work I really don’t need to talk too much – they get it.
Here is Margi followed by two artworks for the exhibit:
The fabric we are weaving now is dystopic.
From the influence and power of wealthy countries, we rake against the natural fibres of local conservation, destroying their form and texture, until they are smooth and uniform. In our determination to find solutions for diverse and complex local problems, we have been seduced into weaving with neutrality—with sameness.
This seduction has already damaged many weft strands, leaving communities and their cultural knowledge displaced.
Whole villages have been forced from their ancestral forest homes—wilderness they have harmoniously inhabited for generations. In their place armed border guards stride, paved roads snake and exclusive hotels stand. Where children once learned from their elders of the leaves and fruits and animals around them, tourists now stare from open top cars at the last surviving tiger.
Hunters once stood on the ice edge at sunrise, offering thanks to the spirit world before hunting meat for their community. Now they meet wealthy sport shooters from half a world way, who lust for blood and a polar bear trophy.
The seducer has manipulated our attention away from the real cause of the wrong. Campaigns are launched to save the last surviving golden lion tamarin funded by corporate profit procured by flooding valleys and mining sacred mountains.
We have been manipulated into muting a myriad of beautiful and diverse local solutions—forcing the colour from the threads of community relationships with caribou or kakapo; with elephants or emus; with polar bears or pythons, until all that is left is ostentatious words on a page.
Hope without substance.