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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Fig Leaf

I often think about my current projects while walking my dog in the morning. It's not a deliberate problem solving, but rather a barely conscious musing, so that the things I experience around my neighbourhood feed into my ideas about the work I am making. I think the rhythm of walking also helps me to process ideas at a different level. Recently on my morning walk I smelt--rather than saw--a fig tree. There was a large old fig tree in the garden of my childhood home, so all sorts of memories bubbled to the surface. Sitting in a tree in the garden was a refuge for me as a child. On the other hand there was a family saying that the fig tree is a traitor. At a practical level this is a reference to the weakness of the branches relative to the size of the tree. It served as a warning not to trust the strength of the branches to support my weight. But the idea of betrayal is particularly poignant in the light of my childhood experiences. So I stopped and picked a leaf of the tree and had a good look at it.

I saw lots of interesting patterning and texture. Plus the shape is quite characteristic. And I thought of another association: the idea of a fig leaf as a covering for shame... With these ideas in mind, I picked lots of fig leaves of various sizes and proceeded to dry them. Now to see how they will work as elements in a collagraph plate.

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