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Fossilized Attachment

August 2014



Dry vine, red thread 



This series was spontaneously created after a hike through a forest where I found a few dried wild grapevine tendrils. They had been on the ground since their tree had collapsed. The tree and the grapevine lay dead and dry, without movement or growth. They had once been growing upright, one next to the other, the strong tree offering the grapevine the support it needed to climb toward the sun.

For many years, this symbiosis existed and flourished. The grapevine's attachment to the tree became constant and firm. It lost its flexibility and ceased to search for other sources of support. It relied solely on the growing strong tree. 

One day, the tree fell. Perhaps it was hit by lightning or maybe it was ill and slowly rotted from the inside. Whatever the cause, it fell and the vine fell with it.

The vine plant uses a different structure of growth than the tree; it does not have one solid trunk, but several long and tensile coils. The grapevine did not perish in the fall. The dried tendrils could not shift and look for new support.

The vine had to start its climb upward all over again. It needed to dry out the fallen parts and invest energy in making new connections, in finding a new tree to rely on, one it would trust for support.

In my art I use the dry grapevines to remind us of our own stagnation, our own tendency to cling to fallen relationships and unsupportive people. We tend to freeze and hang on to the first tree we can grow with. We forget the thirst for novelty, and our ability to regenerate.

We are reminded of those skills only after everything we know collapses. Like the vine, we must learn to let go of useless, fossilized attachments and trust our ability to seek new ones.


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