Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 16, 2011

In response to an email asking asking me to share my story, influences and purpose with regards to my art:
"It's hard to say where to start, but I guess I can say that I got into using fiber kind of out of necessity.  I needed a rather non- toxic medium to use when I was pregnant with our son.  Then I realized how I could really get my vision expressed with fiber way better than painting or drawing (although I am coming back around to that these days).  I think there is something great about the variety in textiles, their histories, the emotions they conjure and the stereotypes they hold.  Although I had been trying to get away from the whole women/textile feminism thing, I realized that I just needed to get closer to it and subvert it in the only way I know how, so now I stitch alot of things that at times shamelessly resemble breasts, vaginas, legs, mostly things anatomically female.  I also like to keep a good sense of humor about what I am referencing and I even at times like to bring some things that relate to masculinity as well. Lots of fairy tales, lots of poetry, lots of Victorian novels, lots of antique lace, lots of vintage films. (I may even be working on a small film soon too for a Big Top Secret Project happening this summer/fall)
So many people and things influence me it's hard to even put them into list form but I'll try
Louise Bourgeoise
Hans Belmer
Sharon Kopriva
Nancy Reddin Kienholz
Joana Vasconsuelos
Leonora Carrington
Orly Coogan
Joetta Mae
Nancy Miliken
Clark Derbes
Hettie Haudenshield
Max Ernst
Laura Letinsky
Mary Ellen Mark
Connie Imboden
Fancesca Woodman
Helen Miranda Wilson
Alexander McQueen
Ditta Von Tesse
Vintage Circus Costumes
Charles Gibson
Rita Hayworth
Marylin Monroe
golden thimbles( which by the way I sew with on my middle and ring fingers)
This list could seriously fill a book... I think what I am saying is that it is more of a feeling that I get from these people or things... there is an essence I relate to maybe not in a personal way but more of a psychological way... be it women in a hysterical state, spangles on a trapeze artist's costume, lace under a petticoat, tulle on a tutu, concentric circles, or pasties, or the depth of the darkness just before it begins to get light, the transparency of silks, the way layers can always subvert a truth...  I am drawn to the illusion, I am in love with sequins and I am currently spending time drawing lots and lots of hair styles.
I just went to a lecture here in Burlington about taking one's art to the next level and the one thing some panelist brought up was that artists introduce other artists to important trends, connections, and they hang out together to build momentum off of eachother... be it inspiration or exhibition opportunities... I think in my experience I have been feeling like a lone duck at times being an artist who works primarily with textiles in VT, but that is not to say that there is an amazing network of similar folks out there, so what I do to find them is do a lot of blog searches, if I find a blog I like I go to many of that person's links to find more work that I like.  I read my regional art publications (usually online ) for shows I can easily get to, wich for me means in Boston, Montreal, NYC, Cape Cod and nearly the bulk of New England.  If I can't get to a show I usually know some one who went so I get reports back...with fiber art though it's really key to try and see it in person... or at least look a a good photo.  I also look at the occasional fashion magazine (mostly W or Vogue) to get a sense of the current trend in fashion/style since my work recently has been relating to that as well. 
Oh so much stuff... but the key is to know that there are alot of us out there, making similar work, working within the same tropes and concepts.... but the responsibility as an artist, I feel is to understand that even though we may all be speaking the same language it is important to make that accent stand out as much as possible."
Still no major changes to this dress, this black layered thing that I put on every day. Don't get me wrong, I love wearing this dress everyday, I just haven't been motivated to alter it to great heights just yet.  I think it is going to surprise me, I think I am going to surprise myself.  Instead of stitching this evening, I updated the website with new info and images of Elizabeth and Cupcake.  Ah the things we must do to keep the career moving forward.  :)

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