Home + Land
(for you, for me, for you)
By Madelaine Corbin
Home + Land (for you, for me, for you) is a hand-stitched living rug that is part of a series of grown interiors that both care for us and require care. The piece is composed of moss–a bryophyte lacking roots–grown in the local forest where I am the sixth generation in my family to have grown up. The creation of this mossy textile offered contemplative time to consider my family's roots–the ones with root rot, the thriving systems sending up new shoots, and the quiet workforce areas supplying nutrients and communicating with fungi.
Throughout the intimate making process, the moss offered mentorship. I began to consider my history less as a rooted system and more as series of bryophytic relationships. The living material created more than a new way of informing my contemporary experience with “home.” It also inspired deep appreciation and respect for the land itself. And, it contributed to my creative construction of a home without walls. A place where the architectural plans allow for wind to rush through, rain to pour in, and sunlight to filter upon every stone. Home is more than the walls around where we lay our heads to sleep. This work intends to inspire care beyond the threshold for our rapidly changing natural home outdoors. This work is important now as the valley landscape is affected by swollen developments, invasive species, deadly fires, and other human-caused climatic catastrophes.
The land of the Willamette Valley has had a relationship with humans long before my earliest recorded family members arrived. Each flower, stone, and stream tell an evolving story. Stories of colonization mar trees, scar forests, and decapitate mountains. My work, Home + Land (for you, for me, for you), revives a kinship between home and land, earth and human, to rediscover this constellation as one entity. Perhaps we don't merely have a relationship with our environments. We are the relationship.