Featured Artist for Sunday, April 7, 2013:
Awake. Asleep. A dream. Awake again. Where did I go? What paths did I follow? Who did I meet there? Storytellers, with lessons and learnings. For me, about me, for others. And then I stitch.
My solo show is an installation: an indoor forest where my new sculptures reside. I've made these figures with dyed cloth and found objects. They have come pouring out of my hands this past year, as I go back and forth and back again into the landscapes of my imagination. In a way it is a memoir of a long life, so many dreams and memories, often with the same figures appearing. Not long ago, I made maps by stitching onto fabric I had dyed; in this work, I answer the question I posed next, "where am I going, within these maps?"
The figures that have emerged refer to carvings of peoples and cultures different from mine, but feel connected to me all the same. I was on an Inuit island in the Bering Sea many years ago, watching native ivory carvers and a grandmother sewing fur toddlers' slippers adorned with a twirling feather. I have held totems and fetishes of Southwestern native people, while in their lands. I remember the thrill of touching silks dyed by masters in Japan, in a kimono shop in Kyoto. I hope the sculptures that tell my stories will resonate with others who listen and look.
A woman's quest, my quest into the mysterious forest becomes more urgent as I become the elder, with a duty to share what I've learned: when to listen, how to see, how to find confidence, what it means when life is both bleak and full at the same time.