INSTALLATION: Requiem For (Our) Mother Natures

INSTALLATION: Requiem For (Our) Mother Natures

Created by Siobhán Arnold and Meagan Shein, the minds behind SIEN COLLECTIVE, Requiem for (our) Mother Natures is a new installation at Sparks Gallery consisting of 200 flowers hand sewn from found/recycled clear plastic meticulously hung into a cloud shaped form. Each flower is approximately 12” x 12”x 12” and is suspended by multicolored thread from the ceiling. 

“This installation is a natural outgrowth of our last installation, Vanitas which included several three- dimensional flowers sewn from discarded plastic. Requiem for (our) Mother Natures is an installation that is emblematic of our identities as women/mothers and is a gesture of collective mourning during this global pandemic.

“Humans have a long and complex relationship with flowers. They symbolize women physiologically and sexually in coded ways. Flowers represent sexuality, romance, emotions such as happiness and love, social behavior and mourning. As women, we experience a societal expectation that an important part of our identity is in the domestic sphere – women love flowers, they adorn, they sew, and they mourn. The deliberate labor of hand stitching discarded plastic and creating something beautiful out of what would be trash is a both a meditative practice and an ecofeminist strategy to challenge some of these assumptions about our identities as women. Flowers have a life cycle – they blossom, age, decay and die. Plastic does not decay and die, it remains on our planet long after we are gone.  This large installation of sewn flowers from recycled plastic during this global moment of grief is a way to connect with others and make something meaningful out of abandoned materials. The gallery becomes a space of beauty, collective mourning, and remembrance.” – Siobhán Arnold & Meagan Shein

Meagan Shein & Siobhán Arnold | image courtesy of the artists

SIEN COLLECTIVE is a creative partnership between Siobhán Arnold and Meagan Shein, who met while studying Art at the University of Chicago. Remaining close friends after graduation, the two decided to begin collaborating in 2015 in order to explore shared artistic concerns. The two explain that their collaborative work “mines mythology, archetypes, history and fairy tale, employing the imagery of the natural and human world interchangeability. We articulate our position as women in our particular place in society and the physical world/environment. We are interested in challenging the existing narratives of dominance and submission within these worlds raising possibilities for alternative narratives, ones in which the silenced may speak and the oppressed may act.”

Installation images courtesy of Siobhán Arnold