India Flint — ‘When Feathers Come Together: A Global Chicken Collection’
INDIA FLINT | Australia
My mother attended her first India Flint workshop when I was studying design in college. She returned with a book about felting (her books can be found here) and a gift of a scarf eco-dyed and hand-stitched during her time there. I still wear it to this day. That book was my primary reference as I began learning the process of felting to create feathers for the two original Chicken Footstools in college. I have been following India online ever since, continually captivated by her poetic engagement with nature around her and the beauty and truths expressed through her hands and voice. Thank you for saying yes, India. :) - Sally
India Flint is a multimedia artist, writer, and educator based in South Australia, working in ecologically sustainable contact print processes using plants and found objects. Flint’s artistic process includes methods such as walking, drawing, assemblage, and stitching, which come together to create rich, layered works that reflect and record the beauty of the artist’s surroundings in Peramangk country and travels.
Self-described “botanical alchemist, forest wanderer & tumbleweed, stargazer & stitcher, string twiner, working traveler, dreamer, writer and the original discoverer of the eucalyptus eco-print,” India Flint’s body of work is sure to inspire the wanderer in all of us.
Flint offers workshops in botanical alchemy, ecologically sustainable textile practices, aleatory poetry, and rebel stitching which can be found at The School of Nomad Arts.
My practice conflates the visual and written poetics of place and memory, using ecologically sustainable contact print processes from plants and found objects together with walking, drawing, assemblage, mending, stitching, and text as a means of mapping country, recording, and recording responses to landscape - working with cloth, paper, stone, windfall biological material, water, minerals, bones, the discarded artifacts and hard detritus of human inhabitation, the local weed burden. My work has kindly been described as using “the earth as the printing plate and time as the press”.
What was your inspiration and process in creating your feathers?
I thought about the lovely Spangled Hamburg hens I used to keep...and hoped that the Eucalyptus cinerea leaves might hint at their feathers.
What have you enjoyed about this project?
I find the chicken footstools utterly charming, and it's been a delight to see all the other interpretations (if I didn't have cats whose paw razors would destroy a chicken in a heartbeat) I would be commissioning one for myself!
eco print wool
Working with India's wool pushed me to slow down and study the material more intimately than I typically do in the everyday work of chickening. Normally I can pin and sculpt a chicken in one setting and do it fairly quickly but India's chickens required Sally and I convene a handful of times to shape and reshape their draping until we felt confident in a final composition. We were searching for the right balance of simplicity to showcase her naturally dyed fabric while maintaining an elevated appearance so these chickens felt prominent and proud. I love how her fabric very directly connects us to the Australian leaves and branches she used in her pattern making. We are pulled toward nature in a new way and I love that it is sculpted onto a chicken form that is a direct connection to Sally's roots and beginnings at her family farm in Lyons, KS. - Carly Pumphrey, Co-Creative Director, Trade Flock Manager & chicken stitcher