Installed last year, We Are Woven is a composition of intricately cut metal panels, dividing and bending to wrap around a building at Gainesville's Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Park.
The imagery originated from a painting I created. An obsessive meditation on the web of connections we are entangled in. We are a part of the complicated world that surrounds us and the heartache of it all is that we don't often know it. What we don't see, can so easily go unconsidered. We are taught that we are special. We are more than bodies, we are life never ending.
Sitting in my studio, I ruminated over these connections, right as the pandemic hit. The piece began as a desire to describe, through patterning and line-work, the relationship of water and roots, trees and tall grass. There needed to be a bounty of hidden insects and mammals to find but go easy on the charismatic fauna. I wanted to draw upon the less noticed players. The insects and native grasses. Our aquifer. I wanted the work to inspire people to go home and plant stuff, appreciate the native growth all around them, and stop it with the pesticides already.
But the pandemic turned things up a notch. The complex composition continued to develop. It felt more clear than ever that we could not transcend our connections to everything around us. This was a time when we could not outrun our relationship to the earth or our mortal nature. Life was not limited to us. If we left, other life continued forward. It didn't matter so much if were in the next chapter. I had felt these things all along but the framework of 2020 really magnified it.
Beyond the simplicity of the environmental side of these connections was the clarity of social structure. As we all know, 2020's light-beam of truth helped us see connections that may have not been lit brightly enough for some to notice before. The social structures that this country was founded on continue to echo today, and the composition of prosperity that was drawn a long time ago still manages to hold boundaries against many people now. The symptom of the suffering surrounds us but the source is buried deep. It's woven in our history and it has been the foundation of growth for a long time.
My rumination continues. We Are Woven is a layered concept. The connections will continued to be explored in other work. But for now, just know that you were born connected and the web is complicated.