installation of digitally printed fabric, twine and wooden pegs, 4 oscillating fans.

I had no idea what 'Tradewinds' was about when I made it. 

Part dance, part mountainscape, part awkward domesticness. 

A piece of digitally printed fabric being blown around by fans in a room.

There was just this instinctual need to make something about hanging out the laundry. I actually enjoy washing my family’s clothes, there is a simplicity and - historically - it connects me to women all over the world. I had relief-printed the floorboards in my kitchen because they are full of intricate wave-like patterns from decades of tree growth and I wanted to blow them up big so they could engulf my body like clothes or water. Then I thought about the wind that dries our clothes, and the winds that have taken humans, animals and seeds around the globe for millennia. And most importantly for me, I thought about the North Atlantic tradewinds that took me from the UK to Lanzarote, where I became a mother and started my own family. 

Thinking beyond myself, there is also the inescapable fact that these same winds have played such a significant role in the development of our capitalist system, through colonisation and the Atlantic slave trade where the colonial trade pattern follows the clockwise air and water current system in the North Atlantic. The black and white prints were not made to intentionally reference this division of power, however, I’m glad that I feel this narrative could be read in what is a deeply personal piece of work about matriarchy and attempting to reach a connection through materials and processes. 

Photograph by Jules Lister, 2022.

© Clare Carter
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