Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bread Pan Gardens

Mabel Adams died a few years ago when she was a few weeks from her 100th birthday. She was my amazing great grandmother. She was a powerful force in my life and the stories about her have coloured my imagination.

She was very commited to studying what the earth provided and would take me for walks as a child and have me describe the plants I saw. She taught me the names of plants in Latin , English and "Indian".

Mabel was able to live alone on her farm until she was in her nineties. She fell and required more care than her children were able to provide for her. This meant placing this dynamic and inventive woman in a nursing home. She longed to go outside and have a garden to care for. She just wanted to breath real air.

One day she managed to convince her son to bring in a bread pan full of prairie sod. It was placed on her nightstand, much to the chagrin of the staff. Everyday she cared for it and recorded what grew from the bread pan garden. Eventually she was able to describe 27 varieties of different organisms and plants.

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