On-site at CCA's 'Soil to Studio' plant dye garden (photo by Sasha Duerr)
I was so fortunate to have been invited recently to talk to students in the Textiles program at the California College of the Arts in Oakland. Artist friend and plant dye expert, Sasha Duerr, has helped to cultivate a wonderful campus garden for the study of permacouture and 'soil to studio' practices.
In addition to my talk on ideas related to 'fashioning self and the environment', I decided to unravel a tumbleweed fiber form that I had created in 2006 while on an artist residency at The LAND/an art site in rural New Mexico.
'Tumbleweed 01' created out of recycled textiles, fiber, and vegetation in New Mexico
I viewed this event with the students as an opportunity to shift my creative practice a bit – unwinding quite literally into a more expansive mode while also looking back at a chapter in my life that was very much about preserving materials and the memories of a specific place.
The hand-dyed fibers from the tumbleweed were able to breathe again amidst the lush vegetation and expressive succulents of CCA's community dye garden and surroundings. The students also served as live branches of sorts during the collaborative process.