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The inspiring and dramatic beaches at Blönduós

The process of looping allowed me to carry the linen yarn with me as we travelled and continue to make on the journeys. After a visit to the Herring Era Museum in Siglufjörður, I became interested in the way the fishing nets and ropes were tied in lengths, coiled and stacked. I began to think of the looped baskets as sacks and how their shape can be defined by what they contain.

Using linen, cotton and jute yarn and string, I made a looped basket from the the odds and ends left by others from past residencies. Deliberately leaving the joins visible to indicate the odd lengths of the left over or cut off yarn.

Once made it needed to be filled with something. I took it down to a local beach to fill it with black pebbles, but then realized the black sand would be so much better. I could see how the sand could represent the Icelandic sea salt produced with geothermal energy originally in the 18th century and revived in the present day.  The recent popularity of flavoured sea salt and the addition of charcoal to resemble lava to some brands only added to the analogy.

Once filled it begged to be returned to the sea.

I recovered the battered ‘sack’ and brought it back to the studio to dry out naturally. The sand gradually fell through the holes of the looping as it dried and the linen became matted with the wetness and salt of the sea. Its form has continued to change and sag as the sand settled and dried.

To further develop this piece, with the help of  Kurt Gardella, also at the centre. I have added a small amount of Icelandic raw clay at the base to fill the holes and contain the sand. This is an area for further development back home in the rich clay soil of Hampshire.

I am so pleased with this piece as it seems to demonstrate how being here over this month has presented me with the opportunity to slow my thinking and allow things to seep into my consciousness in unexpected ways. I feel I have gradually settled into this place and it has shown me how making is profoundly affected by place.

I made a companion piece and the two will be shown in  The Latch String Is Always Open at Textillistamidstod, Bonduous  on 29th May 2019. This exhibition will include finished work and work in progress of the May Artists in Residence at the Icelandic Textile Centre.

Annette Mills