Sunday, November 28, 2010

intimate, repetitive, slow, the body

Last night, I found areas that needed mending. Touch precedes language

Textiles are about touch

Textiles are intimate Textiles are slow to make

Textile processes are repetitive

Textiles are made with the body On the surface of a table were 14,000 human and animal teeth arranged in patterns according to their shape and size, not their species. These teeth were set into red iron oxide powder in a pristine manner as the slightest movement would stain the teeth. The hours of labour by Ann Hamilton and her colleagues was evident. The gathering, cleaning, and placing of this community of teeth one by one, omnivore beside herbivore beside carnivore was reverent and ritualistic.

These visceral materials, teeth, red staining, and the scientific order brings up ideas of the last supper, the holocaust, and lost time. Freudian and Jungian dream analyses tells us that when teeth fall out in dreams, they are symbols of loss.

The red coloured images are from Joan Simon's book about Ann Hamilton, illustrating her installation Between Taxonomy and Communion (1990)


  1. Textiles are slow...textiles are very rewarding.

    Textile are repetitive...stitching is meditative, therapeutic.

    Textiles are slow ...they give us time to think, to ponder, to imagine ... no wonder we love cloth, thread, textiles.

    Jacky xox

  2. I feel so in awe I have no idea what to say, but thank you for writing about it.

  3. Anonymous5:20 pm

    i have always dreamed about my teeth falling out, and my mother always told me it dealt with the lack of permanence in our lives.

    i highly enjoyed this.

    i like the theory of countless in quilting, countless hours, countless stitches.

    countless, repetitive, runs concurrent to a more natural state of things.

  4. A wonderful post, thank you... the older one gets, the more repetition, as well as slowness, proof to be salubrious...

  5. I love your thoughts on textiles, one of the loves of my life. I agree with Ger that as one gets older textiles becomes more sacred as well as accessible. I find I become more attached to hand work and less drawn to anything done on the machine. The motion of hands moving with the textile comforts and enriches daily existence.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx