My five panels for the Big 500 Show are done and turned in!
The series is called, “Topography of memory”. Each panel was gessoed and painted with an acrylic ground, then matched with a segment of patchwork fabric. The patchwork was created years ago, when I was a newly young woman, from a variety of velvets, silks and satins in our family’s collection of scraps and repurposed fabric items. One panel has an embroidery I had worked as a child; others have scraps left from sewing birthday and summer dresses, ribbons from giftwrappings and doll clothes, and so on. In this way, it carries old and long cast aside associations, since recovered and reworked: a kind of memory quilt.
Since I had had much creative enthusiasm, but little knowledge of how to properly construct patchwork, the original fabric soon fell apart. I was saddened to see a once gorgeously festive skirt become shredded, the fabric tearing beyond repair and breaking down, after only one or two parties and subsequent washings. Yet it was still too meaningful, and captivating, to throw away.
I brought the former skirt back out of hiding, quite serendipitously, in a hunt for scraps to use for Christmas ornaments. The ornaments didn’t get made (yet), but when I saw the skirt again, the panel series idea was born.
Each piece has been overlaid with a design derived from principles of sacred geometry. They were carefully traced on to translucent paper with gold and silver paint pens. Beads, rhinestones and sequins enhance the points of the designs, and bring out the eye catching sparkle in the materials. The overall effect is contemporary in style, yet mysterious, hinting at antique, even ancient and possibly occult references. I think they are awesome and magical, especially viewed all together.
I didn’t concentrate too hard on the meanings or pairings behind the shapes and designs, preferring to let my hands, eyes, artistic experience and psyche be my guide in assembling these pieces. The result is an exploration of layered, intermingling themes: the healing force of the sacred lattices in transforming previous life experiences, forgotten hopes and dreams, or past grief and loss; the interplay of order and confusion in navigating one’s memories, and the need for guidance through waters that are, at times, seductive and treacherous; the mapping of the known and its ever changing relationship in response to the new and unknown; the impact of that which might seem merely decorative or passive, but which works on the viewer in aspects not easily explained away… I could go on, but I’ll leave room for your own interpretation.
I do heartily suggest checking out the show, and viewing these pieces in person- online photos can’t get even close to doing them justice.
And don’t worry! I’m happy to see these sweethearts sell and, hopefully, bring some holiday joy and inspiration to a gift recipient. I have plenty more patchwork- and fond memories- where these came from. Repurposing, in this case, will bring vibrant new life to these special fragments of time.