Mended Leaves - Hannah Streefkerk

In her work Mended Leaves, Hannah Streefkerk presents a series of leaves that she has repaired or patched. With fine strings of yarn, she has reinforced the edges of tears with delicate blanket stitches and with painstaking meticulousness darned cavities made in the leaf lamina by insects or larvae. Rips caused by wind or hail have been sewn together. Holes have been hemmed.

By combining leaves as a base material with domestic crafts such as sewing and crocheting - at times with stitches so fine and discreet that they are hardly noticed - Streefkerk inscribes herself, through her handicraft, into the natural world around her. Her work seems to become a force within nature rather than a human product applied to it. With yarn carefully matched to the colour of each leaf, she underlines that nature itself plays the main part, and not her interventions

Streefkerk draws our attention to the beauty and fragility of the natural world. Here, she is focusing on the leaf as a single representative element of nature, and her attentive and compassionate treatment of each leaf can be transferred to our natural surroundings as a whole; the importance of caring for and preserving nature.

This collection of leaves allows us to look closer and marvel at the great variety in nature. Each leaf is an individual with a different shape, size, texture and colour. Moreover, each of them is a page in the journal of a tree, telling us about days of sunshine and rain, hailstorms and about the passing of time that has turned them from buds to foliage, from green to yellow and red. In this work as in others, Streefkerk becomes a mediator, a translator and a truth teller advocating on the side of nature. In a sotto voce, she presents her viewers with these beautifully simple, yet poignant visions of a nature in need of repair and protection.