About the Artist
2020 was earthshattering for everyone and drove me back to painting after many years of working in textiles. The pandemic, politics, social justice, brutality, the environment. This body of work is a chronicle of living through these times.
My response to Covid19 was visceral and immediate. Immersed in the collective anxiety/ conversation/data explosion, studying other artists’ illustrative imagery of the corona/covid/crown became a means for processing the tragic loss of human lives, as well as trying to understand the uniquely scientific challenge of battling a globally devastating virus. The gouaches form a timeline of the spread of the disease, the continual dissemination of new knowledge, and surrounding issues that the world shared.
The oil paintings begin to explore political issues, covid is there, plus so many fears; these are personal responses to world affairs, interpreted through the landscape at home; literally a drainage hole in the ground that came to symbolize all of these dangers. Sea of Madness is about surviving the turmoil, and the cows are about peace of mind leaving, and then returning. Mother Nature’s face appears in several of these works, looking in with great concern. Covid “flowers” evolve throughout both bodies of work.
The textile works are primarily constructed with traditional methods; machine pieced or “appliqued” tops, cotton batting and backing. All are completely hand quilted. Many of the backs are as ornate as the fronts, and the sleeves for inserting hanging rods are part of the artwork. Some utilize repurposed materials such as clothing and table linens.
I began making quilts in response to five hurricanes that devastated Florida in 2004 and 2005. The sudden shift in craft from painting to sewing had to do with seeking stability, through the solidity of pattern and physicality of the object in threatening times. After collecting fabrics for 30+ years there was a certain amount of bravery in picking up scissors and cutting. In terms of the storms, the most significant aspect of this artistic practice was quilting in patterns that mimicked the haphazard tracks of the hurricanes. Using heavy embroidery thread; the lines are emphasized like drawing.
These artworks are about design, craft, the handmade, respect for traditional women’s work, and the recycling of materials. Plus, a basic utilitarian philosophy, inspired by the artists of Gee’s Bend; most of the works can be used on beds as well as hung on walls.
May 27, 2021