Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Generations - Peach Trees

My upbringing has taught me to make practical things and not have idle hands. I don't know if that was a conscious lesson or not. Definitely my parents are some of the hardest working I know.
Dad worked sometimes unending on the family fruit farm his whole life. At 84 he still goes out daily to prune in the winter and Spring, Summer and Fall to do what needs to be done. Farming is not his job it is his vocation.

Times have certainly changed this work. All the canning factories in Canada are gone to my knowledge. No pears or peaches you buy canned off the shelf are from Canada. The economy of scale and standard of living here has taken care of that.

Fresh fruit in our local stores tell the story too. Strawberries from Florida or California can sell in our season for much cheaper. $ 5 a quart or more for Canadian Strawberries. Who can blame the parent or person who buys the cheaper imports.

I made a piece of fibre art last November that celebrates the annual taking pictures of the peach blossoms that my family usually does. It is kind of a joke that we have but upon reflection it also celebrates the hope that comes along with it. The hope of a full crop. The hope that the blooms made it through the winter. The hope of a good price to the farmer so you can pay the bills and have some money left over to do the whole cycle again the next year.

So I created the peach trees in their blossom state. A tribute to the cycles of a farmer, to honour the work that they have done and will do and a hope that this way of life, this vocation of farmers will still be around. Farmers work hard. They are not defined by pension plans, minimum wage, benifits.
They are called.

I love the land but I don't have the vocation, the calling to carry the burdens and worries of a farmer.

So here is my piece. I entered it several call to entries. I am pleased that it was accepted into Fibre Content 2016 which will run at the Art Gallery of Burlington, Ontario from the 8th of September until the 18th.

Maybe I don't have a vocation for farmer but maybe I have a desire to tell a story in fabric.  I must admit it is difficult to pour your heart into a piece of work and not be accepted. That is part of the process of life. Disappointments, successes, roadblocks. But in the end maybe I have to change my mindset and become more like my dad. Do the work, put in the time - day after day. 

This one is for you Mom and Dad. 

No matter what the future brings  on reflection you have taught me resiliency.


And PS thinning peaches was and remains my most hated memory of jobs on the farm. 

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