17 September 2007

Interstices - Part 3

There are two more fiber sculptures in my show. This one is called Glimpses in Time, and it tells the story of my father's life. It is hanging in the north room of the gallery.
Glimpses In Time: We All Tell Stories
Italian burlap, wooden dowel rods
approximately 60 inches x 96 inches x 72 inches
The two small works visible (on pedestals) are also my artwork
and will be featured in a later post. The work on the walls
is by the other artist in the show, Carol Faber.

Working with commercial fabric allows me to take work with me (sometimes, anyway). Abelisto and I went to a fabric wholesale outlet in the Twin Cities and bought 20 yards of this off-white Italian burlap. I experimented with using all sorts of substances to stiffen it enough that it would stand on its own - without luck. After wasting several yards (a pricey experiment - Italian burlap retails for $20/yard and wholesales for $8), I decided that none of that was going to work and I would have to use some really nasty, toxic chemicals to stiffen the fabric sufficiently. I am trying not to use those types of chemicals in my work anymore...

So I took another path, and created a work that would hang from the ceiling.

I started this piece on the trips to Indiana to be with my family during the last summer of my father's life. It has sections where I have pulled out the vertical threads, leaving only the horizontal ones. This creates visibly distinct sections - narrow and wide bands of open, semi-transparent areas.

So how, you ask, does this piece represent my father's life (and recent death)?

I took this piece with me when we first went to Indiana after learning that my father had terminal lung cancer, and each of the subsequent times we visited this past summer. During the days we spent there I worked on the piece on my mother's huge dining room table in the great room of my parents' house, the room where my father's hospital bed was set up. People would come and go - my brothers and sister, my aunt, the neighbors, friends of my father and mother, the hospice nurses. We we all told stories, lots of stories. The stories soaked into the artwork, the lines of thread being drawn out were the words of the stories, the gaps left behind were the feelings left when the stories were finished. The columns of drawn threads, narrow and wide, sometimes close together, sometimes farther apart, represent all of the lives that touched my father's.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed getting to view this work. I want to thank you for the story of process you included . . . so rich, heartfelt and too often omitted from an artists' work.