‘Sewn Constructions’ – September 2016

If you’re going to be in Portland during September 2016, please stop by Blackfish Gallery to see my current show, ‘Sewn Constructions’.

Recycling is a central part of the five works in the show – I use leftover scraps of canvas that other painters have discarded, which I then cut, shape and sew to create variations on the traditional format of oil-on-canvas works.  These paintings depart from conventional representation of three-dimensionality on a flat surface; rather, they become three-dimensional objects that project out from the flatness of the wall.

I’ve always admired traditional handwork created (mostly) by women: quilts, weavings, knitted and sewn garments. These recent works follow the time-honored processes of reusing fabrics, piecing sections together, and hand-stitching them into place. I add decorative elements to the pieces – there are linear strips that resemble ribbons or cursive writing, and forms that are floral, an ironic reference to a still-prevalent sexist expectation that women should be pretty rather than powerful.

I’ve been creating sewn constructions for the past five years, and in these current works I’ve expanded my techniques of sculpturally shaping and composing the canvas segments.  My palette has expanded too – I find oil paint to be very sensuous and I use it lushly to embellish the constructions, like embroidery or lace upon a garment.