Birds for the Arms of the Shaman2015
This work is a product of my ‘other’ life in Norway, where I spend my time, away from the world, in a studio on the North-facing slope of a mountain where we are surrounded by trees, rocks, birds and animals. Folklore, story traditions and magic symbolism have always been an abiding fascination for me. In shamanic or magical ritual, augury is a method of foretelling the future by observing bird and animal behaviour. The Shaman is attended by 3 embroidered creatures that perch precariously on towers of colourful, decorated, domestic tins, once full of foodstuffs from the ‘four corners’ of the world. The Shaman’s gown, apron and headdress have been re-assembled from collected textile fragments, deconstructed, abandoned vintage craft projects, old fur collars and printed fabrics, stitched into and machine embroidered. When the Shaman begins her ritual she calls the spirits of the animals back into their furs and they help her to ‘see’ and ‘feel’ in the ‘other’ world.