Julie Loi is a wet-felting artist working with local wool.
A symbolic and practical connection
In search of sense and inspired by the wool, I use wet-felting local sheep wool to research, experiment, design and communicate with a broad panel of people in a morphing network to develop a sustainable discourse and a practice of resistance.
Wool is care
A horizontal, geographical connection exists between cultures practicing wet felting today. Similarly, the body memory of ancestral gestures connects the makers in time vertically. The Stone Age technique bears contemporary feels and meanings.
Wool offers a sustainable solution to improve social environment, illustrate cultural practices and strengthen culture for a healthy and habitable planet. Climate action begins at the source of the materials we choose. The transformation of the wool into its plethora of applications offers varied employment opportunities, from craft to waste management and fertilizers, from ethical farming to conscious home and fashion design. This precious material with curative properties, both physiological and psychological, can play a meaningful part in art interventions and education programs. Trans-generational and trans-cultural wool work is able to create a positive impact and true transformation in the community.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of tons of raw wool are seen as garbage around the planet. The biomass is piled up in dump yards, buried, burnt with difficulty or ends up clogging streams; a waste of energy, a biohazard for living beings. It is also a waste of prime material, since wool products have been replaced by industrial synthetic ones. Synthetic textiles are petrol-based and responsible for over a third of all microplastic found in the oceans. Between 1995 and 2015, the clothing industry increased by 400%. What does it take to make us look back to the fabric that was clothing us for so long, to understand that we are better off working with wool locally rather than importing a plastic-based overload.
Beyond the plethora of employment opportunities mirroring its applications, "beyond choosing in the reality of today, or of the past, what prepares and serves tomorrows perfect city"; wool working is trans-generational and trans-cultural; it relocates the human being with consciousness and humility in its natural and human environment. Revaluing local wool is inevitable.