Point Reyes Triptych 2013
Point Reyes Triptych is a set of three coiled baskets created in 2013, following a trip to California, north of San Francisco. In the fall, the gently curving hills on the coast at Point Reyes and around Tomales Bay are a beautiful tan color. For me, the neutral colors of the landscape contrasted with the vibrant spirit of the place. To recreate this juxtaposition, I kept the outside of the baskets neutral, primarily using hemp, while the insides are rich in color and texture. This surprise is revealed when the snugly fitting lids, with handles made from pieces of wood and bones collected on the beach, are removed. These primal pieces are representative of the life giving, nurturing female form, the powerful forces of nature, and the life cycle from birth to death.
Inner Life of Bamboo 2012
Inner Life of Bamboo is a series of sculptural baskets combining coiled hemp and jute with pieces of bamboo and my photographs of bamboo. I live with bamboo in my garden and look for it when I travel. I am fascinated by its communal yet individual nature, its strength and power, as well as its grace and flexibility. As the cut bamboo ages, it fades to a neutral tan color similar to the hemp in the baskets, but the green in the photographs capture a moment in time and serve as a reminder of the vibrancy of life.
After Lava Series 2012
After Lava is a series inspired by my visit to a pristine lava tube in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, and also my nighttime viewing of lava streams flowing into the ocean with explosive force. The photographs I took at the time captured for me the primordial nature of the lava and its aftermath. The close contact with evidence of the powerful simultaneous forces of destruction and creation arising from the core of our earth touched me deeply.
I printed these photographs using archival pigments on watercolor paper to enhance the other-worldly nature of the images. As a fiber artist, I sought to offer my personal vision and experience by stitching on elements of handspun silk and hair, and wrapping the image with carefully composed handmade wool felt.
One of the most dramatic experiences in the darkness of the lava tube was having a glimpse of the brilliant outside world through a skylight. To recreate this juxtaposition of two worlds in some of the pieces, I have cut away part of one photograph in order to reveal a second underlying image.
The varied mineral formations within this unusual environment appear both as small mysterious creatures, as well as visions of the vast universe. The tiny life forms, including spiders, moths, and plant roots that exist in this extreme environment,are also surprising.
I have used the duality of this microcosm/macrocosm as a metaphor for exploring the vastness and richness of my own inner space as well as my relationship to the world around me, and my place in the universe. Through this work, I invite viewers to experience their own personal journeys.
Garden Path Series 2008-2009
In the summer of 2002 I created a stone path in my back yard and have since observed the naturalization process. Over the years, I have walked the path as part of my outdoor yoga practice. In this Garden Path Series, I have merged my interests in feltmaking, photography, gardening, and yoga and a deep connection to the world around me. This daily walking meditation allowed me to observe and document changes from the minute to the extreme. The Meditation pieces include images of the stones as I walked them, the Reflection pieces show the path under water after many days of rain, and the Salutation pieces are views looking up from the path. I often felt as though I were moving around a game board representing life’s journey, and have chosen images of playing pieces to serve as human surrogates.
The creation of the pieces of felt, a very physical process, was similar to the physical effort required in the making of the stone path. It was my intent to create felt that looked very earthy. Cutting into the layers of the felt and peeling it back to insert the photographs, reflected the act of cutting into the ground and removing layers of sod in order to set the stones for the path. I sought, however, to give the sense of opening a way into some other dimension or internal space.
It is my hope that this visual expression of a reality that I experienced both externally and internally, will invite viewers to respond with journeys of their own interpretation.
Sea Anemone Baskets 2010-2011
On two visits to the coast of northern California, I was captivated by the rich diverse life of tidepools, especially sea anemones. This series of coiled baskets captures the changing nature of the sea anemone which closes to protect itself from drying out when above water, and opens its tentacles under water. Each of these pieces has a long extension with "tentacles" that can be hidden inside, coiled around the opening, or extended from the basket. The bottom of each piece resembles the anemone tightly closed. Though similar in form and color, each basket has its own unique character, representing the importance of the individual even in an aggregating society.
Tidal Aggregations 2010-2011
This series of pins (suitable for wearing on coats, hats, sweaters, or scarves) is also inspired by my tidal wanderings. They represent the miniature colonies of seaweed, shells, stones, limpets, and barnacles found along the shore. I have tried to capture the sense of wonder and discovery when walking along the beach and finding what has been recently washed up there.
Mushroom Baskets 2007-2008
This collection of coiled baskets was inspired by my fascination with mushrooms in the wild, particularly their otherworldly forms, textures and colors. I love the surprise in suddenly spotting a lone mushroom, and the amazement in coming upon a colony. I hope to recreate that sense of discovery and amusement with these whimsical sculptural pieces. The basket sets of two or more pieces can be rearranged in a multitude of ways, and the individual baskets have moveable parts. These baskets "come alive" with viewer interaction.
Portals and Stairs Series 1997-2006
This work reflects my long-standing interest in the symbolic nature of doors, window, and stairs, what lies beyond them, and whether one chooses to go through, up, or down to another place. With the absence of human figures in these scenes, it is the viewer who is invited to "enter" and move through the space. It is the viewer's imagined choices and emotions that activate each piece.
The Portal, Interior, and Window collages were created with pieces of magazine paper. In the Stairs series, I began to use watercolor pencils with the cut paper, and included hand spun fiber and silk threads. Each piece is like a photograph, capturing place and light, exposing both real and dream worlds as one.
With the use of giclée prints, I began to explore working with multiples. Three Stairs, Nine Times is the piece in which I first began playing with the concept of flipping and rotating reality, and watching the new patterns that emerged. I also introduced images of game pieces as human surrogates.
The Stair Variations series continued the exploration of multiples. With this work, I began using my own photographs of stairs taken in lighthouses in Newfoundland and Labrador. I found that I was shooting photographs in the style of my earlier collages. I altered the photographs with stitched and woven elements, allowed them to become more dimensional, and created a new sense of movement through the arrangement of the multiple images. Working in this way, I have continued to create dreamlike shifts in reality, where stairs begin to fly, spin like amusement rides, or spiral like DNA. I invite the viewer to take these journeys, and imagine where these stairs may lead you.
Vacation Baskets Harpswell, ME July 2011
These baskets began during a workshop at the Kinhaven Music Camp in Weston, Vermont. I designed a 2-day workshop for campers to coil baskets incorporating natural materials discoverd on campus, but found the concept really enjoyable myself. After leaving the camp for my vacation on the Harpswell Pininsula in Maine, I decided to continue making one basket each day and to use materials picked up on walks in the woods and on beaches. Each evening I sat in my cottage overlooking the ocean and created a basket representing a bit of my day.