Skein


'Skein' is a site-specific intervention made for the MA Arts & Place Sharing Event that took place on 31st May 2022 at the Old Playhouse, Dartington Hall Estate. The work composed a wire fence panel frame (measuring c. 1m x 2m) with a series of knotted vertical warp threads (plant fibre and cotton with a drop of c.2.5m) interspersed with knotted feathers, lichens, sticks and pine cones. The feathers form a loose rising v shape moving upwards towards the front of the frame as it faced out into the landscape. The images shown here document the work as it was installed at the sharing event.

Skein (noun)
1. a length of thread or yarn, loosely coiled and knotted
2. a flock of wild geese or swans in flight
(Oxford Languages Dictionary)

'Skein' is the result of an extension of my thinking about the grid form, in particular the 'dis-embodied' Cloud works of Leonore Tawney. As part of my intention to create a 'response' or 'giving back' to place, I wanted to re-embody the grid form- a gesture towards re-populating the skies of Dartington.

I understand the work as the culmination of my Dartington residency; weaving together multiple narratives of the site that stretch across temporal boundaries, referencing inhabitants (human and more-than-human), acknowledging the entanglement of the multi-stranded eco-system that all places are, reasserting the 'body' (the grounded, lived experience) into place and forming a response (or giving back) as an act of 'taking care' of this place.

'We are in the epoch of simultaneity: we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and far, of the side-by-side, of the dispersed. We are at a moment, I believe, when our experience of the world is less that of a long life developing through time than that of a network that connects points and that intersects with its own skein.'
Foucault, 'Of Other Spaces', Diacritics, 1986
(Malpas, 2018 p.24)