Transformations - Fiber Art
Ever since I took my first class on basic piecing techniques for quilts, I have found great satisfaction in expressing myself in fabric. My goal is not to recreate a scene or object with the fabric, but to record my emotional response to it. Most of my artworks are inspired by nature; especially cycles in the natural world. Sometimes my inspiration is a photograph, sometimes it is an arrangement of plants I’ve seen, or it could even be a phrase I’ve heard that triggers deeper thought.
My present series, “Transformations”, explores changes or phases we experience with the passage of time. I start with white fabric, and choose a certain color palette to evoke a specific feeling. I use layers of images that I believe will contribute to that effect. All of the imagery I use has deeper meanings to me than would at first be seen. It begins with either actual objects I use for printing, or photographs I take and process into tools like screens and stencils. For example, a leaf image that appears as a focal point in some of the pieces evolved from a leaf my mother picked up and chose to send me in the mail. Her act of love had an energy to me that was profound, and I derived satisfaction from using the image in my work. The depiction of it appears to be deteriorating, which could, at first, be interpreted as sad. However, when things decay, their particles go on to give life to other things, which is noble and valuable. The focus could be, instead, to see what new, wondrous things form and happen because of this change. The techniques I incorporate such as dyeing fabrics in several values of the same hue, over-dyeing to produce more complex texture, printing with thin layers of specialized fabric paint, and stitching by hand all work together to create a gentle flow of shapes, line, and color. In essence, I use color and botanic depictions to act as metaphors for seasons of emotion we experience.
I have been influenced by nature artist Andy Goldsworthy who strives to work with the place, and, in that spirit, I add imagery in places in the fabric where I find patterns that will enhance the nuances of the dyed cloth.