Eve Harker - The Land
The Land is a solo exhibition that explores the textures and attractions of nature, from waterfalls to entangled wildernesses. Seeking inspiration from places that have special meaning to me, which many weavings and waterfalls are named after, and ideas that arise from this. In this exhibition I am displaying selected artworks from my time at Bath Spa University when I found my attraction to exploring textile sculptures. It shows my thinking process, from making my first weaving in lockdown and feeling restricted, following my recent artwork that sits freely.
I work with found and re-used textiles, using crochet and spinning to make colourful, layered, tactile and woolly sculptural objects that reflect organic forms. I focus on traditional crafting techniques to rival mechanical advances of the modern-day environment. Portraying delicacy, strength and fluidity through soft materials. Working with wool allows me to capture qualities of natural forms transforming them into vibrant ecosystems that juxtapose with each other and spool across the floor.
My process allows freedom, gravity and the idea of thinking through making to inform my decisions. Gravity is seen through the drooping and exhausted appearance to some of the forms that explode over the floor, focusing on the deflated islands of barnacles that are connected by coloured tubes. The labour-intensive material manipulation reflects organic arrangements, creating shapes through knots and loops. For example, lifeline tubes connecting and sucking the life from the bleached neutral-coloured barnacles into a lively globe. As well as varying barnacle sizes that permeate the uninhabited space above.
Using my hands allows me to feel the medium slide through my fingers and focus on the tactility and softness of the wool, whilst the repetitive rhythms allow my process to become therapeutic. The malleability of the wool gives me the freedom I seek. Allowing me to produce work with the intention to juxtapose each element either on its own or in a combination to create an ecosystem of life. At the end of the day my work is only collected by wool and a crochet hook, allowing me to develop and change as I feel the need to.
Elements of nature and unpredictability are explored in the work, linking back to how nature is uncertain, how it acts and what it produces, including flowers that look enchanting yet can produce toxic smells. The fear of unpredictability in nature reflects the time it takes for some organisms to grow, when it can be destroyed so easily, in my case the pull or tear of a thread can unravel each form. I show this uncertainty through change in textures, by varying wool thicknesses, and colours
Earth is taking the backlash of our actions, from rubbish scattered along roadsides and documentaries highlighting our littered planet. My work links the environment we live in today and the hand-made processes that ancestors lived by day by day. With the textile industry being the most polluting industry in the world, my choice of wool is limited only using what I find in charity shops, as I do not support consumerism culture.