The Cycle of Life

Materials: natural fibres (cotton, jute, hemp and raffia), handmade Japanese paper

Technique: cut-paper lettering design, crochet

Size: 160 x 50 cm

Description:  The three leaves represent the cycle of nature, and also the cyclical progression of human life, cultures, and fashions in the arts. The crocheting is done in natural fibres (cotton, jute, hemp and raffia) and forms words. 

On the young leaf (in pale greens, creams and yellows) the quotation reads ‘the language of nature is universal’; the words on the more mature leaf say ‘nature speaks in symbols and signs’ (mid greens, dark greens and browns); the dead leaf has a message in Latin (considered to be a dead language, but still used as the language for classifying living organisms) - it reads ‘Deus æternus, arte sua, quæ natura est’ which translates as ‘nature is the art of God’.

The leaves all hang from the same branch, representing the cycle of birth, growth and decay, and the regeneration of new life from the seeds of the old. All living things progress through this cycle as do human civilisations, cultures and fashionable trends in our artforms. Just as decaying leaves are necessary to provide nutrients for new plants, and the seeds of the parent plant pass on the genetic inheritance, so the ideas and actual artworks from past cultures provide vital inspiration to fertilise our current endeavours.

 

Printed on “A World of Colour” poster by CSIRO & ACI in 1999.
Exhibited in the Papermakers of Qld exhibition in 2000
Displayed in the “Fibrefest” exhibition in Brisbane in 2001, and in “Fibres ’n’ Threads” at 
Pine Rivers Gallery in 2002.
Displayed in “A Passion for Paper” in Coffs Harbour in 2003.
Displayed in my solo exhibitions “Colourful Language” at Gallery 119 in 2004, and at Gallery 159 in 2007.
Exhibited at Scattered Arts in 2008.
Selected to be printed in “Practical Calligraphy” by Peter Taylor, Hinkler Books (ISBN 9781741855647) in 2010.
Displayed in “Undercurrents” at Art Factory Gallery in 2011.
Displayed in my “The Language of Nature I” solo exhibition at Richard Randall Studio in 2012
(read more information about this in my Residency Blog).
Pictured and described in “Textile” by Mary Schoeser, Thames & Hudson ( ISBN 978-0-500-51645-4) in 2012, and pictured in “Down Under Textiles” in 2013.

Lettering on the young leaf
(reading from top to bottom)

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Lettering on the mature leaf
(reading from top to bottom)

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Lettering on the dead leaf
(reading from top to bottom)

T | N |
HE | AT | EUS
LAN | URE | ÆTE
GUA | SPEA | RNUS
GE OF | KS IN |  ARTE
NATU | SYMB | SUA
RE IS | OLS |  QUAE
UNIV | AND  | NAT
ERS | SIG  | URA
A | N | ES
L | S | T

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Tricia Smout. All images contained in this site are under automatic copyright to the artist.

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