My initial attachment to Brinley’s work was sensory. It felt warm. I was feeling.
I recently read Craig Dworkin’s No Medium. One of the few quotes I noted was “Ludwig Wittgenstein’s injunction: “Don’t think, but look!” Looking with a careful attention at the work, rather than through the work to its ostensible message.” What is here? What am I looking at?
In an early email to Brinley I wrote about how I saw “iconography and landscapes and gradients and mapping.” She replied, “The image of orange lichen—that’s probably my favorite piece I’ve stitched, and it’s a theme I want to keep exploring in future pieces. For that picture, I basically reinterpreted a combination of pictures of lichen I found on the Internet with some of my own. Here’s an example of another lichen piece I created recently into a patch, to give you an idea of how the image turns into a stitch: http://tmblr.co/Z1xkZy1k6pVBM.“
Brinley wrote about “a commuting flow.” Language with the texture of stitches. She mentioned how satellite imagery of maps and data collection were a theme she wanted to explore. And so we explored, discussing the confused state of ‘the natural,’ documented and altered landscapes, lichen’s aesthetic similarity to satellite imagery, and the interplay between the macro and micro worlds.
Brinley: “It’s interesting to me to explore the relationships that [lichen] has with our environment—its response to environmental fluctuations can act as a ruler to gauge the impacts of climate change in our atmosphere, and its characteristics are being studied for applications in space. It’s been exposed in orbit outside of our atmosphere and survived with no noticeable damage or changes, and it’s studied in Mars stimulations to find the protective qualities it could have to transfer organisms through space. It’s almost like a powers of ten concept, or the overview effect of exploring the scale of something minute, like a group of lichen on a rock, in relation to something so expansive like our galaxy, or what our planet and activities look like from a distant vantage point. That Earth—Space connection is how I feel like lichen and satellite imagery are related, in that satellite imagery shows us what we look like from the outside in, while the way that lichen morphs and evolves can reflect changes in our perspective.”
This thinking coalesced into a piece that Brinley stitched specifically for Queen Mob’s:
This work is the culmination of looking at and through. I’m looking at a map in which a centralized cluster of commerce expands outwards into hills and fields and back into commerce. Another is another (forever) altogether.
Brinley lives in Salt Lake City, UT. See more of her work at booforever.com.