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A Stumped Embrace (Rare Pair)

90cm (W) x 68cm (H)
2016, cotton, felt, string, raffia, stockings, negligees, wool, crewel

Sera Waters | Artist
A Stumped Embrace (Rare Pair) is a portrait of two life-sized conjoined tree stumps within which multiple sets of relationships play out. Woollen needle-worked black cockatoos peek out from the stump cores, surrounded by rings of dyed calico, stockings, negligees and household string, braided and coiled into entwined rag rugs. The making of rag rugs harks back to a colonial method imported to Australia with settler women, when rag rugs were hardy ground coverings made using household textile scraps. While pragmatic, rag rug making resembles trees for they grow in size by adding coiled rings; the more rings the more labour, lived experience and incorporation of meaning-laden matter. Photograph Grant Hancock