Suzy Furness – Toxic Relationships

Click on the main image to view at full size

  • 2nd Place

This Moreton Bay Strangler Fig (Ficus macrophylla) started life as a tiny seed left by a bird in the top branches of a Brush Box (Lophostemon convertus). Gradually, slowly, but with complete strength of purpose it will completely cover and kill the host tree. Domestic violence is a similar process, but without a magnificent result.

I was saddened to read of increased reports of domestic violence with the enforced Covid-19 lockdowns. Over a period of a few days I walked a local bush track trying to see something in nature that would give a visual image of this violence. There were many vines strangling their hosts but nothing spoke so strongly to me as this strangler fig gradually killing its host. I took the photograph from a perspective of looking up into the canopy to show the strength and majesty of both the trees.

Structural notes: Lampas, five pattern wefts, with the white weft (strangler fig) having ties running in one direction (S), to contrast with the other pattern wefts, whose ties run in the opposite direction. Background warp is hand-dyed green so that its seven-shaft satin structure can portray the variegated green of the leaf canopy.

Dimensions: 27.5 x 36.5 inches (70 x 93 cm)

Materials: warps: 40/2 silk; 60/2 silk;
wefts: 2/16 wool; 20/2 silk Dupion silk, plied; ‘Sandra’s’ Worsted wool plus 2/48 wool, plied; 20/2 Tussah peduncle silk; 2/48 wool plus singles woollen spun wool plus 120/2 silk;
additional heading weft: polyester thread

Loom: TC2 Digital Jacquard Loom

  • Suzy Furness