Basket Art & Kudzu Weaving by Asheville artist Matt Tommey
To most Southerners the kudzu plant is an ecological nightmare. Kudzu is a group of climbing, perennial vines that are native to much of Southeast Asia, and some Pacific islands.
Transplanted here in North Carolina during the 1930s and 40s as way for farmers to stop soil erosion, this coiling, trailing vine quickly spread out of control.
Since then this powerful and pervasive vine, well hated for its relentless growth rate (nicknamed “foot-a-night”) has been a huge problem.
Also called “The Vine that Ate the South” since kudzu vines have been known to cover up and choke hillsides, native shrubs, trees, empty buildings and derlict cars with equal abandon.
Which why the Kudzu baskets created by artist Matt Tommey seem so appealing to many people who have seen the destructive power of these vines. (more…)