Paradise Tree, Southern Spain, September 2008

My visit to coastal Southern Spain instantaneously brought up childhood imaginations of biblical stories, set in a land of eternal sun, full of ripe, exotic fruits that I could only romanticize about as a Northern European child. Medieval paintings of paradise come to mind; Adam and Eve in the foreground and terraced landscapes towering behind them, barren at times, and yet mysteriously bearing delicious crops. I tried to find words reflecting what I saw, heard, smelled and experienced. I embroidered these words onto the leaves of a fruit-bearing fig tree. Based on my experiences the words can be laced into vague stories. while leaving room for the viewer to insert his/her own interpretations. The slow, meditative act of embroidering became a performance, commemorating myths of Moorish times – telling of beautiful young women who, while being kept at home, were dreaming of passion and adventure. The embroidering process was documented on video. While the leaves would fall to the ground and decay in fall, the piece remains as a wall installation with 50 photo prints of the leaves (13”x18”) and video.

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