It occurred to me recently that most of the Ragged Cloth readers are also members of the QuiltArt list and we have been hanging around together for a long time. We know each other’s work, we know the artists we all talk about and read about in the magazines we all tend to read. We go to the same shows and we read the same books and take the same workshops from the same teachers. Pretty insular, don’t you think? I went searching the web for fiber artists with whom I was not familiar and found some pretty interesting and inspiring stuff. Because I wasn’t familiar doesn’t mean you don’t know about them, or, irony of ironies, perhaps they are lurking on that same list we all read, but just haven’t spoken up.
I contacted each to let them know I was writing this post and ask permission to use some of their images here. I hope you will follow the links to their web sites. I think you will have a lot of fun looking at some work that you may not have seen before.
Kathy Weaver – http://www.kweaverarts.com/index.html
Kathy Weaver’s quilts are filled with an imagined world of robots. She says, “My work addresses aspects of the intersection between technology and art”. Her background in painting is evident.
Be sure to look at all the galleries. I found the “embroideries” gallery particularly interesting.
Emily Stewart – http://www.emilymiah.com/index.html
Emily Stewart creates what she calls “memory maps.” She says, “Like scraps of memories, I collage pieces of fabric together to create a representation of home.” Her web site includes a section of exhibition images, showing how her work has been hung. I was especially intrigued by how groups of the memory map pieces appear to have been suspended from the ceiling of the gallery in a circular configuration.
Charlotte Ziebarth – http://www.charlotteziebarth.com/index.html
Charlotte Ziebarth uses photography as the basis of her work. She says, “My camera is the starting point in working to portray some of the pleasures and mysteries of our everyday life.” When she responded to my request to use images, she mentioned that some of her work is on display here in Oregon, where I live. She has work currently at the Oregon Trail Interpretive center in Baker City and also in Grant’s Pass. June will be interested in reading that she was an artist in residence at Rocky Mountain National Park. Her work will also be featured in an upcoming issue of Quilting Arts.
So, did I find any common themes among these artists from outside our art quilt community? I found their work perhaps less technique-driven than much of what I see on a daily basis. I found all three have a very strong and personal point of view, expressed in a prolific and cohesive body of work. Most strikingly, I found serious, thoughtful content and intent in the work. All seem to have something to say that goes beyond mere infatuation with materials and techniques.
Is there anything to be learned from these artists? What do you think?