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  • Writer's pictureIlona

Let Nature Play

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

Spring throwback: May last year and I'm on Georgie's plot, experimenting with plants and fabric - rhubarb leaves rolled up with strips of salvaged gauze to look like sushi...

Dropping a bit of cut up Tshirt into an old tuperware full of leaf litter from the walnut tree at the centre of her plot. Will it perhaps pick up some of the colour from the tanins in the leaves?

Then I had an idea. What if I hang a garment on one of the boughs of the walnut, and leave it there under the tree, exposed to the sun and rain and whatever may fall from above...

Walnut is an excellent source of dye material, I'd used the husks from the nuts a lot in my clothes and I just wondered what potential colours might be transferred without my intervention? If I just lay something out, a white garment, a blank canvas, for nature to play, to do what it will?

I forgot about the experiment in due time.Winter arrived and for Christmas I got a beautiful top from Georgie - my mind filled with questions: where had she got it, who had made it? I didn't recognise it. Then she told me it was from the plot. All she'd had to do was take it down from the tree, rinse it and iron it, and wrap it. In those months while I was busy thinking of a million other things, the rain, the sun and the walnut tree had been slowly working on the garment.

It made me think about time and creating in a whole different way. There was something special about just letting nature get on, letting it set the pace.

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