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Social Commentary

Making an exclamatory statement is sometimes the purview of art with a voice. These wall hangings and sculptures reflect on personal, political and social dilemmas I have considered. These pieces combine collage, digital imagery, embroidery and a host of surface design techniques to marry the message with the medium.

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Corporate Transparency

34h x 26w

Following dramatic stock and business failures of billion-dollar companies and their compliant accounting firms, I spent hours glued to the televised congressional hearings exploring the corporate roots of such enormous failures.  While the many stockholders, employees and pensioners of these failed firms detailed their hardships, congressional committees pressed to solve future such problems by demanding greater “corporate transparency.” This piece depicts my view of what might be seen if indeed there were corporate transparency.

In developing this art quilt, I used the transparent fabrics, printed gold lamé, and an overlaid sky of currency- to marry the message with the medium.

Follow the Oil

33h x 28w

Petroleum has become the gold and currency of our world, representing the primary resource of wealth and power which drives international corporate profits and many governmental policies and actions. Our country has and continues to make alliances with, and war against, other governments and groups based on an ever-changing assessment of threat to an abundant and profitable oil supply.  It is my hope that the many foreign languages imprinted on fabric, the varied images of human suffering, political intrigues, terrorism and citizen protests, the ghostly reminders of the oil industry, and our turn-key war machinery evoke a similar recognition of political motives  within the viewer.

Line in the Sand

34h x 48w

Our international confrontations have become ever more militant and technologically forbidding.  Once military interests have drawn a line in the sand, they invoke patriotic slogans, international protocols and political rhetoric to justify their intimidations.  This art quilt suggests a scene in the Middle East, Africa, South America, Philippines, Caribbean – almost anywhere – as the strong face off against the weak and create their own rules of engagement.

Words and phrases from the Geneva Accord’s protocol on military intervention, along with excerpts from political speeches justifying regime change, are silk-screened in a “line” dividing the villagers from the military in an open desert scene.

The Conversation

18” & 21” high

Defining the social and psychological relationship of two women by the simple lines of posture and physical attitude is illustrated through the simple construction and techniques of fabric decoration, cut and assembly in this sculptural piece. The cock of the head, the fold of the arms and the curve of the spine all help to define the mix of emotions that must be passing in this moment.

After they were cut and assembled from natural muslin, the two figures were resist-dyed using natural materials, such as yellow and red onion skins and dried marigold blossoms. This process allowed for uninterrupted contour lines and portrayal of the women’s dresses and features at once suggestive and defining.

Second Sun

38h x 28w

Pyramids, parabolic dishes, skyscrapers, solar panels and nuclear furnaces are just a sampling of the physical structures humans have devised to capture, emulate and direct the power of our celestial Sun.  The discharged patterning, machine embroidery, painting and applied Tyvek manipulations on this quilted piece evoke my vision of this human attempt to forge the real and spiritual power of the Sun to our real and spiritual needs.

Ghosts

30h x 30w

Through human encroachment and natural disaster, the tigers across Asia have lost much of their forest and jungle home. We struggle to keep them from extinction by preserving a few specimen tigers alive in minimal and pampered sanctuaries.  These guarded tigers are apparitions of a life and lifestyle we may be losing.  This art quilt is constructed from two intertwined whole-cloth discharged pieces , with painted tigers overlaid with transparent fabrics – the entire piece is stitched and embroidered to outline and emphasize the ghostly tigers in their current home.

Adrift in the Cosmos

34h x 40w

Talk of abandoning the Hubble Telescope in distant space conjured up an image of a lonely metallic structure drifting with the winds of capricious extraterrestrial gravitational influences. The Hubble is constructed of appliquéd fabrics and sewn onto a whole-cloth discharged background that has been painted and fused with holographic fibers to remind viewers of the Helix Nebula.

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