Susan Slesinger – Series #2 – Abstract – Cattails 2
Cattails are a perennial plant which grows wild or can be cultivated. They usually grow at the edges of lakes, marshes, ponds and other bodies of fresh water. They can reach 10 feet (3m) in height. People either enjoy them, or hate them and consider them a nuisance to be abated. They are able to propagate from the seeds produced by the spikey flower which are transported by the wind, as well as from the roots.
The inspiration for this series is from photographs taken at Mont Orford Parc, Quebec, Canada in the middle of winter. Cattails were growing along the edges of some of the frozen ponds, and were one of the few living plants visible above the snow. In the winter, their dark silhouette was in strong contrast to the white and grey landscape.
The plants have three main parts showing in winter—–the stem, the large female part of the flower, and the tall spike which is the male flower. For abstraction, I chose to show the plants in motion, both in their entirety and deconstructed into parts. I imagined them flying off to promulgate in new locations. The unusual piece of background fabric suggested the color choices.
Techniques: Raw edge fusible applique, machine quilting, machine stitched embellishments.
Materials: Commercially printed linen/cotton blend fabric; commercially printed fabrics; hand dyed cotton fabrics; commercially produced batik cottons; variegated cotton thread; polyester threads of varying weight; cotton batting.