My artwork celebrates the connection I feel with nature and the longing I have to be closer to the places where I feel most connected. I am awed by the interconnectedness of the natural world and the life force between all living things.
In working with fibers, I have found ways to stitch, heat and cajole the fibers into textures and shapes which do not copy but represent the minutiae of nature which is often overlooked… lichen patterns, leaf textures, the coarseness of a cocoon, the web of detritus on the forest floor. I often use a needle and thread – such simple tools – yet there is a continuum to the past, not just my own, but centuries of past individuals who found a way to embellish or expand their world using a simple needle and thread whether to cover oneself for warmth and protection, or to create cultural and social identity.
My three dimensional sculptural pieces are created using a commercial felt formed from recycled water bottles. Using a recycled product as the basis for my artwork appeals to be as an effort to create artwork from something that would have ended up in a landfill if not for effort and ingenuity. Sometimes this is obvious to the viewer and sometimes it is more obscure inviting a reflection and reaction from the viewer.
Hand stitched embroidery is also a fascination for me. The Journey Series began with small cast off pieces of silk saris purchased from a women’s art cooperative in India. I used hand cut botanical stencils to create images which are heavily embroidered. These embroideries are pieces together using kantha style stitching – probably a million or so stitches in each one.
Hand dyeing fabric using dyes from nature has also grown in my work as I learn more and more of this fascinating and complex art/science. I have experimented with natural vat dyes as well as botanical contact printing and will continue to experiment in this field and, of course, embellish with the story of hand embroidery.