Earth’s Embrace utilises tactile surfaces and essential oils to create a sensory experience for the participant.
The inspiration for this project came during a walk in south east London. Alice saw a mundane looking rock, but, when she picked it up, her hand fitted so perfectly to the organic shape of this rock that she felt instantly soothed and connected to nature. Humanities habits and large scale urbanisation have increasingly disconnected people from their natural world and have resulted in increased mental health issues. Therefore, this physical token of nature struck a chord that Alice would translate into a large-scale, interactive textile cocoon based upon the aesthetic of the rock and wanting to share the experience of comfort she felt to others.
Through development drawings the shape of the rock took an almost foetal form which could be used to create a cocoon of comfort during times of distress. Alice’s objective for this piece was to create a piece that someone could curl and mould into as if they were being cradled, at the same time, reconnecting them with nature and becoming one with Earth by visually illustrating how we are organic forms.
The materials used for this project are almost entirely waste materials that would typically end up on landfill sites, I have reclaimed these and used patchwork to transform them into Earth’s Embrace. Some of the fabrics have been naturally dyed using food waste such as avocados.
Alice wanted this piece to bring together people from the local community, so she ran an embroidery workshop with participants from the local area. Their embroidery work is showcased in this piece empowering them to become the maker. During the workshop, they discussed the key themes of this piece, exploring and visually translating these topics through mark making and embroidery. All proceeds from the workshop went towards The Mind mental health charity.
Photography by Annie Boothroyd