after beside with among | 2015-2017
I make wall pieces and freestanding constructions using industrial wool felt and works-on-paper in which there is a play with language and tension between two and three dimensions. I use letters, words and pictogram-like shapes, symbolic language not to be read, but to evoke sight and sound.
Felt shapes are cut out and hand-stitched back into position. Cutting and separating enables re-forming. The stitching causes felt to buckle and warp, bringing in an element of chance and creating unexpected dimensionalities. The stitching is labor intensive and requires maintaining attentiveness for long periods. This (doomed) attempt at regularity is in opposition to the compressed chaos that is felt. It can seem evidence of a painful occurrence. The process has a devotional quality. The freestanding pieces are self-supporting; there are no armatures or additional supporting materials. The seams function as exo-skeletons, enabling open interior spaces.
With the handmade paper pieces, I draw with pencil, paint with gouache, cut and glue. As a child I drew with scissors, imagining hidden creatures released from their construction paper ground. As an adult and in similar fashion to the felt work, I bring these 'creatures' back into the 'corral' where they are tethered into position with small strips of paper.
As symbolic language my work is exploring and describing—correspondences and continuities. Inner/outer: winter warm light spring dark cold— both several all-at-once.
Early on in these investigations, the phrase "warm snow" from Gertrude Stein's libretto for the opera Four Saints in Three Acts became an organizing principle. Snow and felt are insulators and make quiet. Cold temperatures preserve freshness. In cold regions life is reduced to essentials. An occasional thaw, however, enables flow. In the Grail legends, Parsifal sets out on his quest in the month of May—and it's snowing: warm snow.
While I have been working in this way with these materials for quite some time, the range of color is newly found.