In this series I have used salvaged fabrics and limited myself to one individual pattern piece shape - a segment that is sewn repeatedly into a range of symmetrical configurations. The pattern piece and materials become like DNA, creating different “specimens”. Depending on the material used and how I combine the segments, the forms can suggest flora, animal skins, insect shells, and other biomorphic formations, while simultaneously referencing garments. The scale and materials are personal and domestic; fabric is an instantly familiar and universal entry point, we interact with it intimately every day from birth to death.
The fabric choices themselves have underlying associations: artifacts of the everyday like curtains; cultural rites and gendered garments such as prom and wedding dresses (not to mention pop cultural reference points like The Handmaid’s Tale); and the ultimate signifier of counter-cultural subcultures and outsiders - black leather.
My process is both rule-based and intuitive, full of repetitive actions that can run the gamut from meditative and comforting to boring and tedious. The finished forms result from manipulating and configuring the sewn objects until they develop a mystery that intrigues me, or makes me uneasy. The series reflects my attraction to enigmatic hybrid objects that are foreign but familiar; pared down and distilled without being drained of metaphor, inviting multiple interpretations.
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“A poem is never finished only abandoned.” – Paul Valéry
“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire” – Gustav Mahler
“How do we choose our specific material, our means of communication? Accidentally. Something speaks to us, a sound, a touch, hardness or softness, it catches us and asks us to be formed. We are finding our language, and as we go along we learn to obey their rules and their limits. We have to obey and adjust to those demands. Ideas flow from it to us and though we feel to be the creator we are involved in a dialogue with our medium. The more subtly we are tuned to our medium, the more inventive our actions will become.” – Anni Albers