Sometimes, as an artist, I have a daydream that I can’t shake; it gnaws at my mind’s eye. Color combinations, formations and specific shapes aligning to suggest a personified landscape; catching movements through static means. I draw the symbol or form over and over in sketchbooks until I begin the translation in fabric, the second skin that surrounds us. Sometimes, instead, the works intuitively grow from the meditative act of sewing; from samplers or patchworks that I intuitively begin and then amass into abstract gestures, undulating across the wall. The forms in my work are abstractions pulled from everyday observations, ranging from micro to macro moments in the natural, urban, domestic and personal worlds and shift and combine depending on my locational and emotional states.
The sewing machine serves as a drawing tool that not only punctures lines of any color into the surface, but merges surfaces together, and I push and pull and fight ripples of fabric through the arm of the machine, letting go of flatness in favor of accidental topographies. My process is not one of accuracy or acumen, it is instead revealing slips of the human hand and embracing a rough fabric edge that echoes my own imperfections. Growing up in the flat fields of the Midwest surrounded by the tight tedium of perfectly executed cross-stitches and suppressed symmetry of sewn functionality, it is my rebellion to clash colors and force fabrics to be joined together in trembling dimensional color fields that function for themselves, by themselves, activated by the viewer in space, longing to touch a quilt that was not made for the domestic setting.
Collecting and compiling fabrics from fabric stores, thrift stores, neighbors, relatives, garage sales, old garments-the piles of fabric bear no hierarchy when in the heap and become swirled and compressed into tactile pixels moving through the shapes and forms that grow when I sew in repetition. I am a quilter of sorts, but with more urgency and gesture to swaddle walls, floors and spill color into and onto forms that are not quite blankets but blanket a spot, a moment for the viewer to imagine themselves landing.
The simplicity and repetition of the rectangle often found in my work comes from the inherent nature and divisibility of woven cloth; one cut into the fabric and the rectangular strips are torn and cut from one rectangle into many, like a shattering of a picture plane. Color is a crucial component to my work, looking to fabric as one might look to tubes of paint, layering technicolor materials together in close proximity, assembling pieces that draw the eye into moments of concentrated, intensified color. I imagine my pieces as interventions to the space, pulling the viewer’s eye to eruptions of color on the wall, floor and the moments in between. At times, my textile works convey a feeling of a physical painting in dimensional space, as if the viewer is immersed within the boundaries of the flat picture plane. The density of patterning stretches across surfaces, suggesting landscapes like waterways, skyscapes, erosions, striations or something in between.
Through the threads of my work, I bring inner worlds out into soft immersive forms and skins, pixelating the space through slow, analog means of sewing, cutting and collaging. The future of my work is to continue to amplify scale and gesture, further immersing the viewer into soft saturated landscapes, bringing an internal imagined landscape out of my mind’s eye and into the haptic, human realm.