Autumn is suddenly very much here (hey, what happened to our non-existent summer?) and I have been gleaning.


Jean-François Millet: The Gleaners, 1857

OK, not literally gleaning from the fields but definitely harvesting.

Several days ago I pulled up the dying dill plant in my windowbox of herbs, cut off the fragile seed heads and sat them in a bowl to dry.

Dill Seedheads
Kirsty Hall: Dill Seedheads, Sept 2008

Dill Seedheads
Kirsty Hall: Dill Seedheads, Sept 2008

Yesterday morning I sat, half asleep, and gently plucked aromatic seeds from tousled umbels. The ripe ones fell off easily, any that felt silky under my fingers I left to dry out further.

Dill Seedheads
Kirsty Hall: Dill Seedheads, Sept 2008

I ate one at the end of the task and the taste exploded in my mouth – one small seed so much stronger than a handful of the leaves.

Dill Seeds
Kirsty Hall: Dill Seeds In Bowl, Sept 2008

This morning I collected seedheads from the two poppy plants that arrived unannounced in my garden – in entirely the wrong place naturally! I cut them over a bowl to catch the tiny black seeds that spill everywhere with the slightest provocation.

Poppy Seedhead

I have been gleaning in my art as well. I am in a research phase so I’ve been reading a lot, using tiny scraps of paper to mark pages and then transcribing found words, phrases and ideas into my sketchbook. I’ve been searching through my boxes of images looking for just the right combination of visual information and trawling through ebay for the materials I need to start my next project. All seeds that will grow into something new.

Everywhere in my life; gleaning, gathering, hunting, harvesting, searching and storing.

I am an artist & purveyor of obsessive projects based in Hebden Bridge, England. My work involves the accretion of large numbers of small objects - pins in fabric, knots in string or hundreds of envelopes - to make sculptures that deal with fragility, loss, repetition, obsession and time.

12 thoughts on “Gleaning

  1. Hi Kirsty, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blogs, thank you! Do you know the artist Rivane Neuenschwander? I think she is great and thought that you might find her work interesting too. I hope to comment more one day, I have ment to for a long time but !
    Happy Gleaning!
    Marianne

    [Reply]

  2. Hi Kirsty, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blogs, thank you! Do you know the artist Rivane Neuenschwander? I think she is great and thought that you might find her work interesting too. I hope to comment more one day, I have ment to for a long time but !
    Happy Gleaning!
    Marianne

    [Reply]

  3. You’ll be storing nuts next! ;)

    I love looking at the shapes created by plants when they come to the end of their active life and start to seed and die back. They make great shapes for drawing

    [Reply]

  4. You’ll be storing nuts next! ;)

    I love looking at the shapes created by plants when they come to the end of their active life and start to seed and die back. They make great shapes for drawing

    [Reply]

  5. @Katherine.
    Well, in the last week or two, I have gone through all my kitchen cupboards, tidying and sorting and decanting things nice new matching boxes (the Lock and Lock ones, they’re amazing). I’ve labelled everything with my nifty little labelmaker and yes, some of the things that I stored, were indeed nuts! I feel that I’ve been a good little squirrel so hopefully I won’t starve over winter!

    [Reply]

  6. @Katherine.
    Well, in the last week or two, I have gone through all my kitchen cupboards, tidying and sorting and decanting things nice new matching boxes (the Lock and Lock ones, they’re amazing). I’ve labelled everything with my nifty little labelmaker and yes, some of the things that I stored, were indeed nuts! I feel that I’ve been a good little squirrel so hopefully I won’t starve over winter!

    [Reply]

  7. @Kim
    Thanks, the loveliness of September almost made up for the depressing summer but as the month has switched into October, the temperature has suddenly plummeted and now we’re all wandering around complaining of the cold, putting on jumpers and drinking lots of nice hot cups of tea. I’m still knitting little baby things but I feel that I should be casting on for thick woolly socks and cosy jumpers.

    [Reply]

  8. @Kim
    Thanks, the loveliness of September almost made up for the depressing summer but as the month has switched into October, the temperature has suddenly plummeted and now we’re all wandering around complaining of the cold, putting on jumpers and drinking lots of nice hot cups of tea. I’m still knitting little baby things but I feel that I should be casting on for thick woolly socks and cosy jumpers.

    [Reply]

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