A Thousand Fibres Connect Us

Photo of the art Michelle Sturley, A Thousand Fibres Connect Us, 2008
Wall Hanging
Aluminum, Dye, Stain, Metal Coating, Clear Coat

Oliver Woods Community Centre

A Thousand Fibres Connect Us is a large aluminum artwork located in the lobby of Oliver Woods Community Centre. This artwork depicts a Douglas fir seedling rooted in soil below a swirling sky. The seedling’s roots and the underground network of fungi are entwined, implying the connected nature of these lifeforms in our forests. The fungi breaks down nutrients from the soil that the tree could otherwise not access, and in return, the tree gives the fungi carbohydrates created in the process of photosynthesis. The fungi also distributes nutrients to plants that are struggling, such as small saplings or shaded plants. This relationship between the seedling and fungi provides us with a simple model of what a community is: supportive, nurturing, and interconnected.

The text that runs across the centre of the image adds to the message with the statement, “we cannot live only for ourselves alone, a thousand fibres connect us.” The artwork was created on sheets of aluminum using grinding and etching techniques. Patinas and dyes were used to create varied textures, colours, and reflections.

Michelle Sturley is the owner and operator of Gossamer Steel Metal Works in Vancouver, BC. She is a certified welder and 3D Designer. Sturley enjoys making use of metal surfaces as a canvas for her artistic ideas.

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