Fabric and home furnishings represent comfort and security of the ideal home. A blanket can be luxurious and comforting. A hand-made quilt represents history, connection and love. Fabric is also the sports pennant, the politically incorrect t-shirt, the scorched work shirt, the physical embodiment of the domestic discord, the realm of women’s work. Each piece of fabric brings to mind narratives, associations, characters, eras. I have found that working with fabric to be conducive to my wide-ranging interests.
For the most part, I have chosen to stretch my pieces and present them as paintings. The composition of my pieces are restrained and minimal. There is physical and conceptual tension in my work. I refer to restraint and a desire for release through the use of closures such as zippers, buttons, lacing, garters and belts. The closures link elements that are discordant; the winter of wool to the spring of a striped t-shirt, the purity of good-girl gingham tied up with the bad girl glitz of lamé.
Shifting work in such a radical way has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. I would always advise students to follow their most potent ideas, see where they take you, and don’t worry about limiting your work to a single medium.