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India Flint

I work with windfall leaves, cloth, felt and stitch to make pieced textile works in which the colour is printed directly onto the cloth from the leaf without the use of synthetic chemical adjuncts. Each dyed fragment involves a walk to collect windfalls. Sometimes that means just heading out with a bag, at other times I stop at previously determined trig points such as the call of a bird, the end of a verse of song in my head or the simple counting of steps. I think of the individual pieces as documents of place; landscape drawings formed through the application of colour derived from the land. Stitched together they become parts of a never-ending story.

The processes are slow and mindful, a kind of immersion in intimate knowledge of the land as much as quiet concentrated work on stitching and piecing. The cloth is dyed in small segments bundled around stones, twigs and [sometimes] found metal trash.  The bundles are gently simmered in a brew comprised of locally harvested water [from seas, rivers, lakes, ponds or puddles depending on where I happen to be working] together with a few handfuls of windfall leaves to give colour to the solution. After cooking they are left to rest - this allows time and the elements contained within the leaves to do their work. After unwrapping, the cooked leaves are returned to the environment as mulch.

I make things to hang on walls and to enfold bodies. Sometimes I show a collection of garments. From time to time I am commissioned to make costumes for dance. I travel the whirled to teach and tell stories and every now and then I write a book. 

Artist's statement:  In my work I honour the stitch and the dress-up box, cherish fragments, rummage contentedly in grandmother’s button jar and remember old tales. I reference the traditions of the nine-patch, follow sheep trails, go woolgathering and fill my pockets with leaves. As a small girl I loved to sit on the front stoop with my grandmother listening to her telling stories as the sun gradually set. My favourite was that of the princess who finds herself alone on the forest and must make her clothing from what she can find...leaves, grass and wisps of fur caught on the bushes. It’s still an important story.

Location:  in the wilds of South Australia
Memberships/Important links:
Languages spoken:  fluent English and German, basic French and Latvian

"Second Skin" by India Flint

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“Drive a nail home and clinch it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction,- a work at which you would not be ashamed to invoke the Muse”
-Henry David Thoreau

In our case, it would be the needle or other fiber tool. Drive it home! And, we all thank you for your words, left here to these good folks. Invoke your Muse!


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