My first stitching on the theme of Adam and Eve was based very much on the traditional sampler layout but now I wanted to make an image more from my own imagination that kept the same roots of a central tree of knowledge and snake but in which the figures of Adam and Eve were treated very differently.
This was to show Adam and Eve their body’s snake-like entwined having had their first nibble of the fruit. In the tree many other forms of life are present and either are looking at the recumbent naked bodies or contemplating taking a bite of the nearest fruit. There is a general sense of curiosity or perhaps shock in the case of the swan that helps to focus attention on Adam and Eve.
The work started during my mid-winter hibernation over in Brittany where I loaded up the wood burning stove each morning and kept the shutters closed against days of seemingly endless rain. Having as usual worked the image more or less out on paper I started the individual animals and mass of fruit. The two intertwined naked figures posed the greatest challenge as to how to obtain the three dimensional quality and a certain sense of modesty as well as to make it quite clear just what tasting the fruits of life meant.
The serpent I chose was a python which allowed me to reproduce the fabulous patterns while the tree of knowledge with its mass of fruit helped to convey a certain sense of confusion within the image. Although God is out of the picture it is clear that he is on his way and none too pleased.
I have found that many people seeing this work for the first time will ask if they can touch it and I think that is a normal response to both subject matter in the case of animals and wool itself being a natural material that has been with us from day one. It is hard to imagine anyone wanting to touch such an image if it was executed in plastic and I find it shocking that we as human beings have become so closely wed to plastic simply because it is cheap, giving up all rational thought as to whether it is the appropriate material to be using for the job. We give our babies as their first tactile experience plastic to play with. Looking back to my own childhood I can remember only a hand full of toys and we made do with our imagination to transform a few twigs and baler twine into a fortress capable of keeping all manner of evil at bay.