I am an artist with forty years experience in sculpture and fiber arts. My work formally addresses concepts of life cycles, memories, and movement through found fabrics and natural structures.
Through sculpture, I translate my memories and ideas into tangible forms. I seek to share stories and encourage others to reflect and share their own. Each piece of fabric (family clothes, bed sheets, and old dishcloths) or tree branch is filled with its own memories, but through transformation, it has the ability to tell and inspire new stories.
After taking a hiatus to raise two children and teach art for 13 years, I am currently seeking local and national exhibition opportunities.
I have been making sculpture for forty years. At first, I worked primarily with plaster relief. About eighteen years ago, after my mother died, I started to braid strips of fabric. I braided and braided. If I had been practical, I would have braided rag rugs like a distant relative of my mother's had done, but instead I wove the braids on crib sides, oven racks, futon frames, and chair backs. At first glance the pieces I created were abstract, flat areas of color. However, with a title or brief explanation, they became vivid representations of the World Trade center, a closet, a swimming pool, or a Downy Woodpecker.
My work with fabric has evolved since those initial braids of grief. I began to thread wire and dowels through the braids to create new forms and vertical shapes embodying human figures, plants and grasses, and wind and water. Inspired by the shapes of movement in nature, I cut fabric into small pieces and adhered them to tree branches—with their subtle and extreme twists and turns—to create intimate pieces full of movement: human figures dancing beneath the moon, groups of trees dancing in a forest. The branches allowed for more permanence than wire and less rigidity than dowels. The new “trees” I created were yearning to wear sweaters and evening gowns; yearning to be alive again with color.
I choose fabric with stories: family clothes, bed sheets, and old dishcloths. Fabric from my mother's blouse paired with swatches from my favorite pants create a figure that is both of us. In other sculptures, my daughter is here, my son there, my husband tucked in between. Through my work, I’m giving old stories, memories, and items new life.
My work uses personal stories and experiences to formally address universal concepts of life, death, aging, and relationship. Inspired by a fire on our island and the death of our cat, one group of sculptures explores what I call “life/an event/death” (a continuous cycle) through use of color and contrasting shapes. One side of the sculpture could be a tree branch wrapped in vibrant fabric and full of movement and life, while the other side is a black dowel—a static representation of death. In the middle, an “event” occurs acting as a catalyst for the change in state. Some of my other series feature the challenges of struggling with dementia and living with assistance.
Sculpture allows me to translate my memories and ideas into tangible forms. With my work, I seek to share these memories and encourage others to reflect and share their own. Each piece of fabric or tree branch is filled with its own memories, but through transformation it has the ability to tell and inspire new stories.