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Ivy Reflections: May 2022

Over the last month I have sat with the ivy and have explored making cordage from larger, thicker pieces. Some pieces are as thick as my wrist, and those will likely be incorporated as is rather than processed because my word, they are thick. See the picture above for the before and after of an Ivy vine. Huge! I thought it was part of the tree, but it is in fact a vine, that was successfully removed.

During May, I had the opportunity to attend an invasive species pull lead by Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS). This opportunity allowed me to gather a significant amount of Ivy with the help of their staff and lovely volunteers. The ivy I gathered is different from the first round I received back in March, and I am exploring the differences in the material from each one. Both batches I received were from different sites, and they were collected two months apart.

Something beautiful I got to experience was when removing Ivy from trees, you only remove 6 feet and below (see the image above). By separating the vine from the established roots, anything above this will kill off the Ivy. Kind of looks like the trees are wearing sweaters, kind of like Winnie the Pooh. I have seen this before, wondering how the Ivy grows like that, not realizing that the trees that look like this are rescued trees from the Ivy growing around and suffocating it. I was left inspired.

Splitting continues to be a meditative practice for me, where I listen to music or a podcast and just repeatedly splitting the vines into thinner and thinner pieces. The thinner the strand is, the more malleable. I realized from the first sculpture attempt with thicker pieces, that for now the type of fibre I wish to work with is thinner strands. As a time-consuming process, I am learning that my goal of completing my first sculpture by Summer Solstice is unlikely, and I am okay with that. There is no need to rush, and I am trusting this process knowing that through it all I am connecting deeply with Ivy and learning from it how to work with it, which as of now is at a slow and methodical pace.

And that's it. Working with ivy is a time consuming process- it has been taking longer than anticipated to process this plant and begin working with it, but that's what I'm here for. To find my flow within this medium.

Kaitlyn Beugh's mission is to assist you in fostering a soulful connection to self and the natural world through creation and intention. She is an interdisciplinary visual artist. Her art practice plays on the ephemeral, and is intuitively channeled and created in a flow state.

She lives, works, and plays on the unceded land of the Coast Salish First Nations. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts with a minor in Social Practice and Community Engagement from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and has a background in social services.

Kaitlyn is a practicing artist and has some of her artwork for sale in the form of original pieces via her website here. Kaitlyn is currently studying herbalism and connecting deeper with the energies of plants and natures cycles.

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We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

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