No one is an island.

If I discard the inside but keep the surface, is the object still there?

While removing the dried skin tubes from the branch I’m hoping they will hold together on their own.

IMG_7759(Day 10: The empty pieces seems to hold their connections.)

What is the difference between the inside and the outside?

Stitch by stitch I’m enclosing a positive impression of a branch made of air, keeping it separated from the surrounding air which ends up having a negative branch shaped hole in it.

IMG_7771(Day 10: About a third done)

Is the function of the boundary to uphold the division between inside and outside? What if the boundary lets the inside out or the outside in?

Is that too simple?

In the book “A field guide to getting lost” I found the concept of “shul”. This word usually means a jewish place or context of worship, but it can also mean a mark left in the world. The author Rebecca Solnit describes it like this: “…shul is used to describe the scarred hollow in the ground where a house once stood, the channel worn through rock where a river runs in flood, the indentation in the grass where an animal slept last night. All of these are shul: the impression of something that was once there.”

IMG_7789(Day 11: The tips are the hardest to get off without breaking the branch.)

I’ve made a container that remembers its content but the content is gone. You could say that this container knows the shape of a branch because it was constructed around one, in the same way that new knowledge is built like bricks on top of the bricks of old knowledge.

IMG_7787(Day 13: Almost all the pieces done now!)

By making a hollow shell I start to understand that the border could be the only place where the inside and the outside can meet.

Is that too obvious?

Well, new knowledge to me: I draw unnecessary lines. I get stuck inside a defined tradition. Like I’m missing a membership card to the outside. Or maybe a get-out-of-jail-free-card. These boundaries are still too easy to see for me. I need to learn about doors. Or permeable materials.

I do understand the point of knowing your history though. Again: all new knowledge needs a foundation of old knowledge to build on. We continue on someone else’s conversations and add our own parts without them knowing. Maybe my conversation will be someone else’s starting point another time.

Is that too pretentious?

The artist Theaster Gates talks about how a “nothing-material” like clay or an abandoned building can be turned into a something, like a pot a or meeting place for art and people, but also how the materials carry memories and tell a story if you let them.

IMG_8144(Day15: Done and installed at Åsbacken, Västerljung for the Open Art days.)

In the search for clues of where my process could be leading me, I need to remember to take a step back and see what I’ve actually done. What is there in front of me. What the materials have turned into and what story they tell me.

I’m confused, possibly in a good way. Possibly I’m asking too many questions. Possibly I’m wrongly trying to figure out the “right way” of doing things.

Is that too critical?

Thank you to everyone who came and had interesting conversations with me during the exhibition days! To see someone tear up over something I created makes all the work worth it! 🙂 

Frankenstein’s Branch

Skin on a tree. I started stitching. Stitch by stitch and piece by piece I started covering something once living with something now dead. A branch lost from the tree needs another layer of protection.

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Day 1. Where it used to belong to the tree.

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Day 1. Connecting pieces.

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Day 2. The first fork.

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Day 2. The hide is drying as I sew.

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Day 5. There is always another fork.

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Day 7. Almost done now, only the tips left.

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Day 9. Finally done! All dressed up, the next step will be to remove the branch and let the skin remember it.

New Beginning

I find the most difficult part of a project to be when I’ve finished one part and it’s time to start over again with the next. It is this strange situation of being done and not even having started at the same time. To get back into the process I usually just start doing something, anything, trying things out without so much thinking. Maybe take an element from earlier in the process and play around with it to see if it gives any clues.

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Like stacking bags of concrete side by side

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And let the light shine through the cracks

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Or making thin layers of silicone and shellac

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Just to see if it leads anywhere.