Eez Hamster, Not Rat

For scale only.
A flurry of photocopying later, the hamster wheel is much bigger. I love it. Last night I taped it onto my closet door and gazed upon it for a while. "Gazing upon" is a very important part of the process, just letting the mind drift through the image. I am so keen to get started on this piece, but must finish altering two wedding dresses before I can allow myself to begin something new.

And yesterday I got word that I had been selected to participate in the Field Trip Project at the Maritime Museum in Victoria. It should be fun - I am one of ten West Coast artists asked to alter/modify/transform a Japanese child-sized backpack that was used in the Fukashima emergency relief efforts. Here is my proposal:
I envision covering the hard plastic shell of the backpack with a layer of stitched, patched and embroidered Japanese cotton fabric. Called “boro” cloth, which literally means  “trash”, this distinctive cloth has become highly collectable in North America. Made with handwoven, indigo-dyed cotton that shows the evidence of its history and retains the mark of the human hand, boro bears witness to a time (post W.W. II era) where cloth was precious and every scrap was mended and reinforced to extend its life. 
As well, I will include a child sized quilt, similarly made from discarded, mended and patched cloth. This quilt will be revealed when the backpack is opened out. 
I will produce the backpack cover and quilt from cloth sourced from my personal collection of antique Japanese  and vintage North American cloth, and will further stitch and embellish it with maps of the North Pacific Gyre – the body of water that lies between Japan and North America that will eventually bring debris from the tsunami to our shores. The currents that form the Gyre have resulted in a huge floating garbage patch consisting mostly of plastic. This is an international concern, and a shared responsibility, as all Pacific Rim countries have contributed to it.
The deadline is the beginning of June, so I must hop to it! (Here's a link to a photo set from the Cambridge Galleries edition of the project. )


  1. Fascinating "responses"/results over on that link, with your proposal sounding very intriguing

  2. Congratulations on being chosen, Heather!

  3. Anonymous11:06 AM

    wonderful, thought provoking project. not difficult to see which pieces are Japanese on the link site. kawaii, desu neh!


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