The expressions of my work through the craft of weaving and dyeing threads have evolved side-by-side yet in two directions: tapestry and sculpture. From the beginning place and ideas have been on the two paths. Place has developed since my early work in tapestry like the Canyon series and continues in the Zacatecas series. Place found its expression in sculpture with the “Silent Voices. On the Mountain” series and continues today. Ideas, like quincunx, gratitude, silhouette (Ana Mendieta), rotating earth, nonconformity, that we are stardust, masculine and feminine archetypes, have inspired me to creatively explore interpretation both in tapestry and sculpture.
In Colorado as I was interpreting the surroundings of the mountains, canyons and intimate details of the country side: form, color, intricacies, texture, place was, well, just place. I began to understand my attachment differently when awareness of the work of Andrew Goldsworthy and Ana Mendieta. The composer John Luther Adams says it well: “Over the years I’ve come to appreciate the different quality that comes from staying in one place . . . Without dramatic changes in scenery it can seem at first that nothing is happening. . . the more closely we pay attention, the deeper and richer the layers of experience we discover.” Since 1998, I have lived in the city of Zacatecas, Mexico. My morning walks, accompanied by my dog, Mina, carry me a short distance to the edge of the city, across a highway onto Cerro del Grillo (Mountain of Crickets). It is high altitude, semi-arid terrain – rocks, outcroppings, bushes, cactus, eucalyptus trees, various grasses and flowering plants. Sky is a profound presence in Zacatecas (Colorado, too). I carry a pocket camera and take dated snapshots of intimate, of close by and of far off places that whisper, speak or shout to me in a moment. Later a snapshot will carry me into a memory of being there. Selecting images, editing them, doing blind contour drawing of them and then to the actual designing of tapestry, a drawing on grid will be my weaving guide. The copper wire woven with thread is a spontaneous cooperation between materials and artist that evolves from the images and drawing.
“Where does sky begin?” is inspired in a descent along one side of a ravine and up the other. I used a collage of snapshots. “Place of Meeting of Sky and Earth” – a wind and rain storm tore strips of bark from a eucalyptus tree. The elegant strips, shades of red and orange, lay on an outcropping whose wet surface glowed. And “Place of Meeting of Sky and Earth 2” interprets a rock I picked up and held in my hand. The colored surfaces-smooth, textured, angular and rounded and a bit of lichen were eloquent. As I wove I was struck by the incongruity of interpreting something hard with something soft. The opportunity presents itself to me to interpret where sky and earth meet and answering the question: where does sky begin? I dye the silk and wool threads, weaving them on linen warp, wanting to express the shapes and hues that ‘narrate’ an essence of a place on the Cerro. There, on Mountain, for a long time, I will happen onto infinite inspiration for creating answers.
Dimensionality of space beckoned me to investigate the path of sculpture. I found my way to interpretation with copper wire and silk thread. On various frame looms the wire is warp, the hand dyed thread, weft. Removing the weaving from the loom, I sculpt it into spatial interpretations of form, intricacy and texture. The copper wire allowing the shape to be made and then stabilized with copper tacks on painted MDF. The hand dyed silk interprets the hues of the object and/or place. Various series are: “Silent Voices, On the Mountain.”, “ Memories of Dawn in the Land of the Maya” and “breathing sky earth breathing”. Sculpture interpreting Ideas are “Gratitude” and the installation: “Awake, Wide Awake.”