"Mulberry Medley Talk Story", textile collage, 25"x73"
This is a textural journey of the paper or tapa cloth tree whose bark is used to make cloth. Since only the male clones were introduced to the Pacific islands, the paper mulberry was not invasive in the Pacific. The female flower cluster is crossed out in the collage to signify that the female plants are not part of the mulberry story in Hawaii, thankfully. This piece was shown in Hawaii with a collection of long textiles created of other canoe plants brought to Hawaii from Polynesia in the early days. The gallery room was set up with the wallhangings placed as if one were to walk through a forest of trees.
A combination of textures and methods were used in this composition including kona coffee dyed silk and cotton, rust dyed fabric, silk screening, soy wax resist, upholstery fabrics, machine embroidery, couching, quilting, etc.
This abstract explores various elements of the paper mulberry tree including plant cell structures created using soy wax resist methods, bark texture, leaf shapes, and talk story about the tree embedded in silk screened text. Silk fabric and threads are also used symbolically throughout the piece since silk thread is synthesized from digested mulberry leaves.