Ecology is one of the altered books I produced from the Life Nature Library series. I used the entire text block, which I cut into strips and rolled into beads. The beads were sorted into colour groups and sewn free-hand into random shapes. These were then assembled into a long scroll. The work is housed in a clamshell box (25.5 x 10 x 10 cm/10 x 3 7/8 x 3 7/8 in. closed) covered in Japanese hemp paper.
I chose the hemp paper because the the coarse hemp fibres create a pattern similar to the pattern of the sewn beads. I also wanted something neutral so that the colours of the work would be more of a surprise when the work is opened.
One doesn’t see the work immediately on opening the box as the piece is rolled inside a length of the Japanese hemp paper.
When the work is removed from the box and unrolled, it is finally revealed. This shows the scroll partially exposed:
The design of the work is based on ecological population maps of the kind produced for wildlife surveys of population or habitat. I thought of the beads as individual lifeforms. I chose to sew them together as a representation of the way every living thing on earth is interconnected.
The piece is surprisingly heavy, and has a wonderful drape and flow when handled.