Friday, February 5, 2016

Fan Worm Crown



Fan Worm Crown (2016) embroidery thread and pins on paper, by Meredith Woolnough

This new piece is inspired by an ocean creature that has always fascinated and delighted me on dives. The fan worm, Sabella spallanzanii.

This little annelid is otherwise known as the 'European Fan worm', 'pencil worm' or 'feather duster worm'. Sabella spallanzanii is found in the shallow, sub-tidal areas of countries such as; Spain, Portugal, France, Turkey and South America. It has been also been found in several regions around Australia over the last few decades. The fan worm has the potential to be a pest in our marine waters and their numbers are being monitored as a result.


Fan worm, Spirographis spanzani (Photo credit: Robert Harding)
The worm itself is mostly hidden inside its leathery tube, extending only the feathery feeding tentacles out of the top of its self made home. In this artwork I have focused on the worm's crown of feeding tentacles, depicting the fan of banded tentacles in a design that describes the structure of the crown if it was to be flattened out. There are two distinct layers of tentacles in the crown and one of these layers forms a distinct spiral. This structure can be difficult to see when the tentacles are extended in the water as the crown tends to look more like a soft cup or a feathery plume underwater.

I hoped to show the beauty and complexity of the worm's crown in this piece, highlighting its mathematical perfection and delicate colour banding.


Fan Worm Crown in process - Embroidery stage

The two layers of the Fan Worm Crown prior to mounting


Fan Worm Crown (Detail), 2016, embroidery thread and pins on paper, by Meredith Woolnough

Fan Worm Crown (Detail), 2016, embroidery thread and pins on paper, by Meredith Woolnough



2 comments: