My current practice uses sewing and hand stitching as a restorative mindful act enhanced by the use of natural materials and when enacted in the environment. I often do this by working directly into the environment, or onto plants themselves, physically interacting with them, forcing change upon them in stitch, or by adding leaf to leaf. The fact that they age, wither and die is absolutely pertinent to the work, describing as it does the fragility and impermanence of life at all levels. In contrast to my theatre work, the pieces I make are small, unassuming, quiet. They are often unplanned, exploring the materials, allowing them to speak for themselves, or interpreting thoughts and ideas through the objects by adding stitched text.
This work on the theme Encroach toys with the ways we humans colonise, control and impose our selves onto everything we touch, that even when we make space for nature it is conditional. This gift of jewellery to a tree, to adorn a branch, can be worn as a decorative enhancement, an amulet, or protective charm. As with any gift of jewellery it is also a statement as much about the giver, and their motives, as the receiver.
Initially trained in textiles, my career has been built around designing and teaching in other arts practices, mostly community and collaborative work, and for the past ten years, design for theatre. My process is about connection and creation, rather than production, allowing a relationship to develop between the maker and material that is more important than the object made. Working with costume as I do I am interested by the fact dress is one of the truly human traits, that non-human ecologies just don’t engage in. There are some creatures that alter themselves for various reasons; defence, attraction, disguise etc, but none that actively apply alternative layers of materials to present the self in the way people do.
www.mcevoyswift.com Instagram @mcmcswift
I am an artist and the curator for grove and groving. This blog is groving online, and records the artworks placed on the streets of Bury St Edmunds along with responses to the work by commissioned writers.