J. Matthew Thomas
stitched & Quilted
Art Farm, Nebraska. 13' x 20'. 2020. Fabric remnants, thread, steel pole, wood stakes.
An act of reconciliation on the land acknowledging the blind regard of natural flows in this environment and our limited tools to find balance. This is a segmented land, of artificial fertilizer and pesticides, water irrigation, and mechanical planting and harvesting. This installation and performance piece sows and sews the land using a traditional quilting pattern, tumbling blocks. I perform the act with my body, using a large needle, puncturing the dry earth, driving the quilting materials into the land.
Weaving a domesticated symbol onto the earth, I wanted to queer the tools of domesticated production, acts of violence contrasts with acts of nurturing.
Earth Stitches are an impossible site-specific artwork that consists of large-scale ‘stitches’ of 36-strand synthetic fiber rope measuring up to 500’ in length. The stitches are situated on site as if emerging from the ground, punctured by a gigantic sewing needle.
Earth Stitches are visible mends within the landscape at sites of environmental disruption. This site-specific intervention takes place at an oil field located within the Permian Basin, the largest petroleum-producing basin in the United States. Positioned at sites of oil jack pumps, these sutures within the landscape assuage the over 400 rigs located throughout the Basin.