Stand Still, Dive Deep
April – June, 2018
ArtLab, Artworks Trenton, NJ
Adaptation is the core of this soft sculpture series. The balance between my home life (wife, mother, homemaker) and work as an artist is an endless competition for time and a perpetual cycle of joy and anxiety. Stand Still, Dive Deep is a sculptural exploration of how I maintain a sense of self while adapting to the ebb and flow of life. These themes are represented through touchable biomorphic forms crafted from hand dyed indigo shibori.
My fiber work is highly process oriented. The repetition of dyeing of fabric, designing templates, and creating 3-D forms becomes meditative. The time I spend at the sewing machine or elbow-deep in a vat of dye doubles as self reflection. I revel in the invigorating extra sensory connection to my work as I manipulate the fibers. These soft sculptures are otherworldly, yet organically familiar. The combination of biomorphic abstractions and comforting, rich hues of indigo dye imbue the work with vitality. They are collections of pliable curves and gentle planes merging into and branching off from one another. By allowing the viewer to touch the sculptures, past tactile memories are brought to the surface and the viewer becomes more grounded in the moment.
A note on indigo and shibori:
The indigo dye I use is concentrated synthetic granules. This synthetic dye is molecularly similar to its natural cousin, which is derived from the indigo fera plant. The dye experience is virtually identical, minus much of the extra processing needed with the natural indigo. I learned how to dye with indigo (a traditional dye in Japanese culture), and learning the art of shibori came soon after. Shibori is a series of Japanese resist dye techniques which create unique patterns by binding, clamping, and sewing. I stumbled upon these amazing techniques while researching ways to dye my own fibers to use for sculpture, which enabled me to control the direction of my work from raw materials to finished pieces.