The Limits of a Place // 2016
The parameters for “The Limits of a Place,” a mixed media work on paper, came from an essay by Henry David Thoreau called Walking. Thoreau thought that an area with a radius of 10 miles, or roughly the limits of an afternoon walk, could occupy your interest for a lifetime. Roughly based on this ratio of land area per segment of life, I calculated a radius I felt could sufficiently occupy me for two months while completing an artist residency at Rare Charitable Research Reserve.
The finale composition combines a variety of topographical maps and memories of the walking on the landscape. Everything depicted within the limits of map are made from natural material found within its borders. The elevation is depicted by layering paper and using willow ink to highlight the edges of each layer. The 3 different types of paper used depict different habitats - garlic mustard for marsh, burdock for forest, and phragmites for meadow or farmland. The rivers are embroidered using thread dyed with pigment found in the roots of garlic mustard. Roadways and walking paths are embroidered using cordage made from native dogbane.