The following article is reprinted from "View from the Fringe," the newsletter of the New England Rug Society, for April 2004. "HALI" is a magazine for collectors of antique Oriental rugs and other ethnic textiles.
Opening an issue of HALI changed my life. I first saw it on a weekend visit to a friend in 1993, and came home resolved to re-invent myself. I resigned my partnership in a large Boston law firm and became a fabric artist. My primary inspiration comes from antique and modern rugs and other weavings made from Africa through the Middle East, Central Asia, the Far East and the Pacific.
A “eureka” moment arrived when I realized that in order to bring those images to bear on my work in an effective way, I would have to cut them out of HALI’s pages and reorganize them not by place or time of origin, but by their fundamental visual characteristics. Now I have loose-leaf binders full of vinyl pockets labeled “zigzags,” “parmakli,” “soffreh,” “checkerboards,” and the like. West African resist-dyes snuggle up against gabbehs, Middle Atlas rugs and Tibetan thanka. How better to see the truth of the fundamental connectedness of indigenous arts?
I am creating in modern fabrics – some hand-dyed, some commercially produced here or in Japan, Africa or Indonesia – tributes to the textile art heritage of many cultures. My medium is fabric collage. My works are “sandwiches” composed of layers of cut-out fabric applique, a thin cotton batting, and a backing of uncut fabric. The top surface is embellished with embroidery and with lines stitched through all of the layers. The stitching creates a relief design on the surface of the work, and traces one or more secondary motifs over the applique.
A sampling of my work over the last five years includes:
This page was last updated 25 October 2006
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