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With Now Holds Always


thread, glue, dried ginger root, orange peels, dried plum, pine needles, bamboo leaves, dried kelp, turkey vertebrae, candies

Among a range of offering foods referenced in With Now Holds Always are pine, bamboo, and plum—a motif that has been employed to symbolize 

resilience across centuries of Japanese ceramics, lacquerware, textiles, and other artforms. 


[excerpted from Ravelling Seams, Massy Arts Society exhibition text by Faune Ybarra] Sena Cleave’s woven netting sculptures put into tension sonaemono (offerings) exchanged between diasporic Japanese communities. Dried kelp, apple seeds, orange peels and rice are woven using butcher’s and poly rope — strings commonly used to tie food and level brick assemblies in a construction. In this fashion, Cleave offers their ancestors a home, a home where the thread and gifts hold each other in place while leaving space for the in-betweenness spanned from this bonding gesture.

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