This sculpture is part of the series ‘Stains of Forbidden Love’
170cm H x 60cm W x 36cm D
172cm H x 58cm W x 30cm D
163cm H x 62cm W x31cm D
natural madder dye on silk organza , steel
Inspired by the Belsize park Mulberry Tree which is on the street corner by my flat, once the site of Belsize Park Manor House. The tree was planted by James I attempt to start a home grown silk industry in seventeenth century which failed as they were the wrong mulberry’s for silk worms. The manor house was used as a celebrated pleasure garden that became known as a scandalous lew’d house filled with music, gambling and prostitution.
The pink mulberry’s that grow today are lush thick juicy ripe and ready to harvest. Every August I carry my ladder to the tree and collect the berries. I process them to make a dye , I chose to use my own handmade madder as well as it is the colour of open flesh, wounds and healing, love and heartbreak. Being part of the process that goes from seed, harvest, natural transformation is a spiritual experience that brings a deep emotional connection to Nature and Humanity. Using my collection of silk and silk vintage lingerie I undo and place in the vats. I remake using only hand stitching with silk thread. I think of the women who worked for the pleasure of others, the colour pink and how we are all connected with each hand stitch. The marks and stains that are left behind. I’m interested in how the light gets in, a crack, a gap- a moment that gives me hope.