Longing & Belonging
Last week I took a break, a parenthesis out of everyday life, to join a group of creative women in beautiful Bretagne and make art with cloth and plants. No wifi, no phone (the one time I called my loved ones, I had to walk up the hill to get some signal), no social media, no screens of any kind. Just pure, magical and tech-free connection.
Connecting with each other during lively meals and excursions as much as in the quiet of our working space, and around the open fire where the cauldron bubbled, filled with our creations of the day.
Connecting to the elements and the beauty of Nature: powerful waves rolling and rumbling on the pebble-covered beech, the fiery red sun dropping into the sparkling ocean. The full moon rising and setting, golden in the evening, pale pink in the morning. A slow dance of light and color.
Connecting to the trees and plants around us, gathering fallen leaves like so many treasures, and respectfully cutting a few fresh ones, to reveal their magic…
And connecting to ourselves, one stitch at a time, in the blessed moments of solitude, contemplation and writing sprinkled throughout the week.
India is one of those rare people who just radiate with presence. Living and creating by her side for 5 days, you cannot help but feel more quiet, more grounded, more in tune with “the whirled”, as she likes to call it. She wears her soul draped around herself, in beautiful layers of wool, silk and linen, lovingly dyed and printed with plants.
She likes to call her work “Botanical Alchemy”, and one day after the next, she passed on a little bit of her magic to us.
For the first few days, we created little booklets and pieces of patched-up cloth without really knowing what they would become. Bundling them tightly with stones and thread, we let them sink to the bottom of the cauldron, cooking them with plants and rusty objects, trusting the process of the dye bath and eagerly waiting for the next day when we would open them and find magic inside…
On the fourth day, everything came together as we lovingly stitched our booklets into one chunky little book, and gently wrapped our dyed cloth around it.
Then we drove to the nearby ruins of a 13th century abbey and held our own little impromptu exhibition right there amidst the ancient stones, just for a few precious moments.
I signed up for this workshop without having the slightest idea what to expect, and I’m so glad I followed the whispers of my soul to this magical corner of our beautiful planet. You can find out more about it on India’s blog here. I came home revived and inspired, ready for the next steps of my creative journey!
Speaking of which: the very next step for me right now is an online solo show! More on that very soon, and you can already request an invitation HERE.