The first Division of Common Land legislation is believed to date to the Twelfth Century. This was the beginning of a process that shaped the class system and important political and social movements in Scottish and British history. This is the starting point from which my collection grew. Hedgerows are a continuing visual manifestation of the Division of Common Land process. As well as embodying part of our history act as linear, self contained eco systems which support many forms of wildlife: insects, birds, mammals and plants. The varied and dynamic content of hedgerows is a living, colourful and rich resource for research and to inspire design.
My collection is entirely hand dyed. I used silks and wools because their natural fibres provide a matte backdrop for the varied and delicate hues of the hedgerow to emerge. I have used predominantly hand embroidered techniques. In my research I re-discovered and learnt embroidery techniques that have not been used for generations. Modern design can be enriched by these beautiful and distinctive craft traditions. Using labour intensive hand techniques meant that each embroidery took several long days to emerge, which helped me to stay true to the living, growing and emerging nature of the hedgerow and its inhabitants.
This project is based on research I conducted in one day and along one very short stretch of hedgerow. It is worth noting that if this project was undertaken in another hedgerow – or even the same location at another time - it would have resulted in a very different project and collection.