I finished several paintings a couple of months ago, but because of one thing and another, I’m behind in posting them. Here is Lost and Found, done in a more impasto style than I usually use. I had a jar of silver paint that was drying up, and the process of trying to use it became very physical as I had to fight with it. I found that rather enjoyable, as the physical struggle became an outlet for some emotions. I let myself be a little looser with things I might normally try to smooth out. I’m liking the end result as well.
Untitled, 60 x 18 inches. Reclaimed cotton and polyester sheets, found papers, thread, ink, acrylic paint.
A short post today to show some recent work. I’m inspired by my collection of materials from various library and other used book sales. I’m also trying to use up old things I’ve had in my fabric stash and in the house generally that would not be of value to anyone. I brought out some old sheets from the closet and tore them into strips. They’re very soft and worn, and they take paint beautifully. The tearing process leaves lots of loose threads, and I’m loving those, too.
I’ve been thinking about how to combine fabric and paper for quite awhile now. My process for this particular work started out spontaneously; just taking all these things on the table and starting to put them together, then follow where it leads. I’m thoroughly enjoying working with a collage process and limited palette. I have no specific end in mind whatsoever, and that’s always fun. I like to follow the unknown road.
A lot of the paper came from this Japanese book (I think it’s a novel but would appreciate any further insight):
Here are some detail shots:
I’m super excited to see my piece disruption on the cover of this book. They’ll be sending me a copy, which I can’t wait to read. Here’s what it’s about:
Public Things: Democracy in Disrepair
by Bonnie Honig
- Examines the rise of neoliberalism by focusing not on the demos but on the objects of democratic life.
- Asks what becomes of democracy when the things of public life–schools, parks, monuments, utlilities and services–all become privatized.
- Attends to the historically racial character of public things and how the erosion of democracy disproportionately affects on indigenous populations in particular.
I don’t usually feel comfortable being overtly political in my work, but at a private level these are the kinds of things I had in mind when I was making this work. Our society is incredibly polarized — we mostly agree that things aren’t good or getting better, but we are incapable of coming together to figure out what to do about it. The wealth gap is widening daily — the rich have more and more, while the poor and middle class are left to fight over the scraps. Resources are disappearing at a frightening rate, yet we don’t seem to be able to do anything about it.
The piece followed on from my Excavations series, which consists of found papers: books and newspapers in different languages, maps, sheet music, religious and patriotic texts, advertisements, instruction manuals, financial statements, candy wrappers, and other random bits. The papers are layered, stitched, and peeled back to reveal different surprises within the layers. The paper is a stand-in for an abstract idea of the collective knowledge of all human beings throughout time and our efforts to make sense of the world and communicate it to others. Information is selectively hidden or revealed as it is in our daily discourse, within the different media we consume.
Here’s the full piece.