MOTHER - DAUGHTERMOTHER - DAUGHTER

Lac des Sucreries, Wildlife Reserve Rouge-Matawin, Québec, 2005. Residency, MARCHEURS DES BOIS / FOREST WALKERS, Wales-Québec exchange, produced by Boréal ArtNature and Ointment.

In a cleared circle, three platforms of packed snow, upon each, a silhouette of a body made of cones (spruce, fir, pine) sewn to netting. Circle 15m diameter.

I brought huge burlap bags full of pine, spruce and fir cones from my nearby home to the cabin at Lac des sucreries – Lake of Sweet Things, cones that had been gathered over the years during my daily walks in the nearby forest. I spent numerous hours, during Marcheurs des bois, sewing these cones onto black netting.

Taught to me by my mother, sewing is a tradition firmly planted in my hands. As I sewed, thoughts about generations and roots weaved together with the rhythm of the needle and thread. The cones, keepers and dispersers of seeds, evoked a spiral of connections between my daughter and mother, this forest and the Lake of Sweet Things.

But this place wasn’t just about Sweet Things. Every half hour or so, logging trucks overloaded with cut trees thundered around the lake. I cut threads. The cones rattled as I stitched the seeds of this forest, a forest that’s being cut as if there’s no end.

I continued to sew. Three forms that echo the female body emerged. I laid them, full of seeds, on snow beds in a circle on the frozen lake.

In the spring, the ice melted. The rolling truckloads of wood paused while the roads thawed. Migrating geese landed on the lake.