These beautiful blue pieces were what emerged from my bundles at the Women’s Seasonal Eco-printing Circle in July. I fell in love with them straight away – felt so nourished just looking at them. It was my grandmother’s birthday (though she is dead now), and having them in the room inspired a fresh spring altar, clear and simple. Everything felt matching, the candle for Ma, the clay vessel a woman in circle gave me, even my drum and rattle.
The colours, the blues of the purple carrot in the pot and in my bundles, the bare warmth of the eucalyptus, seemed to embody the very essence of Imbolc, of early Spring, when it can still be icy cold (hey, we went to the snow last week!) yet there’s so much beauty and colour to find outside, too!
Then the following weekend I had another opportunity to eco-print in a workshop, and the pieces that emerged were so different! I had such an immersive experience, following my own process, and these pieces are imbued with that journey.
The ripped edge of the paper felt like a ridge I’d just run along that afternoon. I loved getting to sewing at the end of the day, adding layers of texture to an already textured piece. The three layers of one bundle spoke to me of what I wrap carefully in the centre of my life…
It was a deeply satisfying experience of making and being, and I could feel how deeply I’d dived as I was driving away, entering the ‘real’ world once again!
Yet when I hung my new pieces up beside my blue Imbolc pieces, I experienced a strong feeling of dissonance. I didn’t like how ‘filled up’ the line felt. How the simple clarity of the blue altar felt lost. I didn’t like the dusky pink, next to the brighter purples and white.
I wanted to take the second pieces down. I really didn’t like the visual of them.
And I’m still being that. They’re still hanging up. I recognise the dissonance as evidence that there’s something interesting to explore here.
At the very least, I’m able to see my attachment to the hierarchy of ‘pretty,’ the inherently comparative way in which I view the world (and myself).
But more than that, the two sets of pieces are a clear visual ‘description’ of this Imbolc time, where we look forward to newness and lightness Spring, while looking back also to the compost and darkness of Winter. I feel I’m understanding this season more clearly, in sticking with the visual discomfort!