September 25th – October 4th 2020 The Old Auction House, Kyneton.
When I create, I enjoy climbing inside things to feel them. They make more sense that way, a kind of embodied knowing.
When I’m tired my logical self says I should rest, yet I’m more likely to build a nest, or a sleeping bower to view it as others might. I retreat with a novel I probably won’t read. Some forest walking slippers emerge from my dream state or a fantastical patched cloak.
I remember stroking velveteen fabric at the haberdasher’s while Mum was purchasing her newest pattern. “You’re so touchy feely”. To me this was a natural way of childish being.
Self-soothing is something we mostly do without thinking. The act is one of the greatest gifts available to us, for if we cannot restore ourselves, we cannot conceive of wholeness.
Bouquet Garni for the Soul, is about the bits and pieces we put together to stay well or recover, following trauma, illness, grief, the exhaustion of caregiving, or living a life other than intended for us. There are many reasons we can deplete. Yet there are a myriad of reason worth nourishing ourselves.
Pieces in this exhibition included sensory costumes, clothing and objects that incorporate natural materials and dyes, found objects and repurposed clothing.
Covid times mean I can’t invite you to dangerously dive right in. The exhibition is designed to run your hand over fur and fibre, to climb into the bed for those absent from themselves. You can use your ripe imagination though, to find your own deep reserves and flights of fancy. Abandon perfectionism. This is about presentism.
Follow the threads of your own magnificent story, create your very own Bouquet Garni.
Wrap the precious herbs in muslin, add your secret flourishes, deviate from the recipe if called to do so.
Touch. Play. Imagine. Stroke. Laugh. Wind. Wrap. Flutter. Rub. Build. Slow Stitch. Dye. Tear. Rip. Dunk. Cover. Read. Reinvent. Collect. Order. Sort. Ignore. Rest. Chant. Smell. Dress up. Sing. Hide. Breathe. You are enough.
I found many steps towards rejuvenation and personal acceptance here.