Sunday, 9 March 2008

From Little Things Big Things Grow

The oak tree is revered in many cultures, representing strength, endurance, durability and fortitude. Oaks are often used symbolically to represent the very core of England, the power of the king and his spiritual connection to the land. One speaks of people having hearts of oak, oak has been used in the construction of ships, churches and other buildings in ancient and modern times. Oaks were sacred to the early Celts and Druids and there are connections to Thor, the Norse god of thunder as these trees are often struck by lightening, but survive. Acorns were often carved on banisters and bell pulls to ward off lightening the house.

My response to Sharon's challenge is a piece in praise of acorns because the acorn represents the huge potential of small things and it too has been used in decoration and symbolism for hundreds of years. Well known quotations I have found include these: -

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.
The oak sleeps in the acorn.
When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze.
Thomas Carlyle
The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. Ralph Waldo Emerson

This journal sized piece is mainly made from photographs of my own lichen covered English Oak tree, printed on silk and calico and pieced with a couple of commercial fabrics. It was fine until I tried to machine quilt it using the stitch regulator on my sewing machine, and I am not happy with the final look. None the less it is done, and I was more than happy with the concept.

Finally, the name of the piece comes from the title of a song written by Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody which tells a story about a very significant event in Indigenous Australian history. In the 1960s, Aboriginal stockmen went on strike at the NT Wave Hill station. Led by Gurindji man Vincent Lingiari, they walked off the job and set up a camp at a place called Wattie Creek. The dispute over wages and conditions turned into a demand for land rights. It dragged on for years before eventually being resolved by the Whitlam government.


Anonymous said...

Snap! I Immediatley thought of this song when I saw the challenge, and decided to use it as inspiration for my piece. Beautiful job you did!

Gwen said...

This is beautiful, and certainly illustrates the concept. I love the idea of making photos into fabric!

Sue in western Washington, USA said...

Great concept indeed! Sorry you're not happy with the machine quilting. It doesn't really show on my monitor so just pretend it's as fabulous as it looks to me!

Tanguera said...

Lovely composition on your piece. What a great story behind it too.

Vicki W said...

What a great interpretation of the theme. A lovely piece!

Tyanne said...

This piece just speaks to me, it's quiet beauty just exemplifies the forest so well. I will enjoy watching your other challenge pieces this year

MargB said...

A truly lovely piece.

Meg in Albuquerque said...

Great piece, sorry about your computer woes, hope they are resolved soon.