Go Slow, Gather Moss; Embroidery as Resistance

What is it about moss and lichen that bridges us into the fantastic and enchanted? Moss is humble but lush, modest but tenacious. For us, at Magic & Medicine, moss whispers after the miraculous of the world.

For some months now Dianne has embroidered her own moss designs as part of the thrice-around Jeans Project. Her stitching progress aligns with the speed of moss growing, that is, it is slow, time-marking work. Often, when embroidering at this density, it feels like nothing has changed. It is a systematic Go Slow.

Throughout labour history, when it has been unsafe for workers to strike, sometimes the labour-force of a company will undertake a Go Slow. This resistance action is usually in response to unreasonable management workplace reforms. In 2011, for example, all the right-handed engineers at Qantas performed tool-work with only their left-hand.

To embroider moss and lichen is to embrace that it takes next to forever to complete a small patch. That is part of our resistance as artists. We choose human-speed for our work, not machine speed. In the end, our Go Slow is not a penalty for ‘doing it by hand’ it is a celebration.

Go Slow with us. Feel yourself unravel inside. Recover the human in your being and the skill of hands.

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