NANCY LONG // Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The abandon with which I put my materials together for this piece was something foreign to me. I am a planner. I never start with an experiment; I start with an idea. The idea is worked out as far as I can take it in my sketchbook, and only then do I start the process of making. This time however, I simply started cutting holes in the canvas and pulling some of the threads out, cut more fabric, glued and sewed things together, and voilà, done with no pre-determined plan. Ok, not quite. I couldn’t abandon my methods entirely. In contemplating the result, I wasn’t completely at ease submitting a purely instinctually-made piece because it felt unfinished. It seemed out of balance having no deliberate element. So, I stared at it a long time until an idea made its way in, and I reached for my sketchbook. The abandoned threads I had plucked out reminded me of the tails of milkweed seeds; their tails riding the wind to unknown destinations of hope. In replicating these seeds and adding them to the piece, I both acknowledged my established scrupulous planning process and allowed for the unfamiliar to have been my initial guide. I really enjoyed making this piece, especially during the difficult times we’ve been facing. It fueled my hope.