|'Looking East, 6 Degrees North', willow branches, native plants & herbaceous perennials, 2013|
July 13 - October 15, 2013
Susie J. Gray
Susie J. Gray could never decide what she wanted to be when she grew up. Consequently, she wears multiple hats, usually one at a time, but sometimes is required to stack them atop each other. Fortunately, she likes hats! When she is being the boss of herself, she spends her time designing edible landscapes; creating willow structures; and doing graphic design, illustration, painting and various fiber crafts. She is devoted to everything old-fashioned. Likes to laugh. And gave up on becoming a grown-up years ago. Gray lives in the village of Waitsfield, VT with a prolific colony of dust bunnies.
Looking East, 6 Degrees North
This piece pays tribute to my six-month sojourn in a beautiful woodland in Kent, England. Daily working alongside a local underwoodsman, I learned traditional woodland management techniques using traditional tools, and then had the opportunity to craft, by hand, the same green wood crafts that have been made in England for centuries.
In form, this piece takes its inspiration from two popular green wood structures frequently found in the English landscape, a bower and a hurdle fence. It also features many weaving patterns historically used in basketry that have been adapted for working on pieces of a much larger scale, including living willow structures.
Living willow structures are intended to be permanent fixtures in the landscape they are planted in, growing and changing with the years. Willow is particularly fitted to this concept, due to its adaptability, flexibility and propensity to live. Because this piece is not intended to be a permanent structure I am deviating from using strictly willow in its construction and will explore incorporating native and invasive species of woody plants and herbaceous perennials found along the waterways and in the woodlands of Vermont.
Susie J. Gray website.
Catalogue and pricing available at Helen Day Art Center and Stowe Area Association.
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