The Peace Cloth
How Far Does The Hand Reach is a global collaboration hosted and curated by Suffolk-based artist Maria Clarke-Wilson of Botanical Being and which brings together a botanical printing community of around 100 artists from 28 countries. A unique piece of collaborative textile art - the Peace Cloth - was stitched together from a single individual eco print made by each artist. Each print was made from plant matter particular to the locale of each artist. Peace Cloth had its first public display at the art gallery Studio20 in Norwich, England. The cloth is now touring the world.
Maria sent each participating artist an identical package containing two pieces of cloth, one silk, the other cotton. The two pieces were to be printed upon, using botanical pressure printing/eco printing techniques, and using wild/native plant matter specific to each artist's locality. Once returned to Maria, the silk piece was to take its place in the huge Peace Cloth that Maria was to stitch together.
On receipt of my package I decided to introduce the fabrics to their new environment and so placed the parcel among the vegetation in various parts of my garden. Why I did this I don't really know, but maybe it was something to do with empathy, with drawing out an innate (hopefully) connection - the word telekinetic comes to mind - with the fabric and its history to date.
I dyed the silk piece using leaves from a long mixed hedge that runs almost the length of one side of the garden, first dyeing the cloth using madder dye. There's a connection between my locality and madder dye, that dates to medieval times. I