Max_height_batik_whole.sm

I'll Tie My Cloth to Your Cloth

2015
hand-drawn batik, indigo dye, HD video

Community and collective/collaborative action are centrally important to my art making
and research, and structure my desired mode of living in the world. Recently
the focus of my work has turned towards thinking through our human
relationships to the world—to each other, and to the natural and constructed
worlds we live in. With discussions about what role humans can play in dealing
with our collective global harmfulness circulating through many of my
communities, my urgency to respond to such things increases.

The work “I’ll Tie My Cloth to Your Cloth” is a piece that deals
with this desire for connectivity. It takes its cue from a story I read in
Catherine McKinley’s research account of her search for indigo dye in Ghana.
Indigo-dyed cloth plays a central role in the mourning rituals of many
cultures, which makes it a color and substance well suited to life in this
contemporary period of ecological devastation. In her story, Catherine
describes a moment after her friend’s husband has died. A neighbor comes to call,
and in a gesture of solidarity and support, she kneels down and ties the end of
her wrapper cloth to the widow’s own skirt and says “Oh my dear! We are here
with you. We are here! Tie your cloth to my cloth. Forget everything. We are
here! We will carry this sorrow with you!” This gesture is a poetically intense
and intimate action; a way of describing the devoted relationships most needed
in this contemporary moment.



Max_height_batik_center.sm

I'll Tie My Cloth to Your Cloth

2015
hand-drawn batik, indigo dye, HD video

Max_height_batik_trees.sm

I'll Tie My Cloth to Your Cloth

2015
hand-drawn batik, indigo dye, HD video

Max_height_batik_center_detail.sm

I'll Tie My Cloth to Your Cloth

2015
hand-drawn batik, indigo dye, HD video

I'll Tie My Cloth to Your Cloth

2015
hand-drawn batik, indigo dye, HD video

Community
and collective/collaborative action are centrally important to my art making
and research, and structure my desired mode of living in the world. Recently
the focus of my work has turned towards thinking through our human
relationships to the world—to each other, and to the natural and constructed
worlds we live in. With discussions about what role humans can play in dealing
with our collective global harmfulness circulating through many of my
communities, my urgency to respond to such things increases.

The work “I’ll Tie My Cloth to Your Cloth” is a piece that deals
with this desire for connectivity. It takes its cue from a story I read in
Catherine McKinley’s research account of her search for indigo dye in Ghana.
Indigo-dyed cloth plays a central role in the mourning rituals of many
cultures, which makes it a color and substance well suited to life in this
contemporary period of ecological devastation. In her story, Catherine
describes a moment after her friend’s husband has died. A neighbor comes to call,
and in a gesture of solidarity and support, she kneels down and ties the end of
her wrapper cloth to the widow’s own skirt and says “Oh my dear! We are here
with you. We are here! Tie your cloth to my cloth. Forget everything. We are
here! We will carry this sorrow with you!” This gesture is a poetically intense
and intimate action; a way of describing the devoted relationships most needed
in this contemporary moment.