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'Prelude: Machair Canticle'

Beth Farmer & Marie Melnyczuk

Prelude: Machair Canticle (upper images)
The two woven panels represent the fragility of the Machair on the Isle of North Uist, where weaver Marie is based and the pair did a residency in 2020. Beth chose sounds of nature prominent on the Machair - wind and rain - as her inspiration, whilst Marie chose the sound of the skylark, resident of the Machair. Their collaboration was born from visiting each other’s studios and sharing screen printing and painting skills, whilst working with sound as a stimulus.

The panels illustrate the effect of crofting (human interaction) through the uneven warp and the repetitive seasons and practices throughout the weft. Through the placement of printed motifs representing the pair’s chose sounds, the work becomes somehow symbolic, a metaphor for the erosion of the Machair.

Machair Canticle No. 1 (lower images)
This solo textile communication work created by Marie, is an extension of the pair's collaboration and uses a multitude of both woven and embroidery techniques. This textile sound map depicts birdsong resident on the Machair: the corncrake - dark yarn using traditional knotting and tapestry weaving methods, the corn bunting - embroidered brown yarn and the skylark - encased woven marram grass.

The top half of the work is a woven twill depicting a silent Machair; alluding to the impact that the threat that climate change poses. The open and fractured areas of the warp are used to create a sense of the encroachment of coastal erosion and the endangered biodiversity.'

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