The Daily Fabric
This body of work began over a decade ago when I inherited a box of old family photos along with a treasure trove of linens. Through these items I began to contemplate the daily lives of my ancestors. Letters written, photographs taken, ephemera kept–wrapped in yellowed and brittle tissue–were but brief snippets of how they spent their time. A window was opened to have a conversation with my history.
Working in the medium of fabric and thread creates a bridge with my past. For me, the process of sewing unites the stories that emerge from the photographs with the stories emerging from the textiles. I am the translator, using my visual language to express a sense of my own life and history and those who preceded me. I am drawn to the antique linens and doilies with their handcrafted embroidery, stitched by an anonymous person. They have their own stories to tell and I find it interesting to juxtapose these existing elements alongside my own additions.
My work in the studio occurs in, around and during my day-to-day routines. The daily fabric of my life creeps into the work, informing and inspiring the imagery: My voracious reading habit; bees humming, busy in my garden. Botanical shapes, textures and colors that I see while gardening or out on a daily walk, through urban or wild areas. Although there are stories and concepts that I pursue, I also allow room for the narrative to take its own direction.
Notes on technique: I create textile collages using new and vintage fabrics. I scan photos, ephemera or drawings which are manipulated with various software. The final image is printed on fabric or I use a photo transfer method to apply the imagery to the surfaces. I draw and paint with needle and thread and incorporate additional items into the work such as yarn, beads or paper.