County: Jefferson County
Grants for Artists' Progress (GAP) 2023
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Mo Walrath is a mother to a lil Byrd, willow basket and coffin maker, teacher and interdisciplinary artist. She is a guest on S’Klallam land in Port Townsend, WA. She is the creator of Woven Thresholds Willow Craft – making willow coffins, soul boats, and baskets as imaginative doorways to collaborative, healing pathways for some of our choices around death and dying, creating, consumption, and decomposition. The baskets she makes are woven with willow grown, tended, and harvested by hand in Chimacum, WA.
Her maternal grandparents come from the West Coast of Ireland, immigrated to Chicago and her paternal grandmother from Main River lands, Germany . Walrath grew up in the suburbs of Chicago , yearning for the place-based life of her ancestors. She studied Art Education at University of Illinois (2011) and apprenticed with her first basket teacher in Oregon(2015). In the following years she learned to tend the earth as a guest on many lands – practicing reverent, regenerative farming, teaching community-based basket workshops, collaborating on multi-disciplinary projects, and practicing birthwork, community burial, and deathcare. After studying with an Irish coffin maker(2018), the project Woven Thresholds began.
She is currently serving on board to create accessible and inspiring conservation burial grounds in collaboration with her local land trust. She considers burial akin to planting a seed in the skin of the earth, a transformative and alchemical process that creates an ineffable change in ourselves and all of life. This change is a medicinal threshold for how the living go on living – a healing mystery that continually guides her work in the world.
Artist External Links
Maureen Walrath, Eaten By Stars: part 3, Gouache and Ink on paper, 11" x 17", 2021
Maureen Walrath, Willow Coffin: for Karen, Willow and Rope, 22" x 16" x 6', 2022
Maureen Walrath, Opening The Earth, Willow and Gouache and Ink on paper, 12" x 10", 2022
Maureen Walrath, Death Is A Falling Star: Kay. Gouache and graphite on paper, 24" x26", 2023
Maureen Walrath, EARTH, SEA, SKY: Winged Burial Shroud and Soul Boat. Detail image of How I Hold You How I Would Have Held You installation, Willow, indigo, madder root, alder Leaf, and wild clay resist on cotton and silk. 16' x 7', 2023, Photo Credit - Erin Scabuzzo