In general, I work from compulsion to do, rather than from any fully formed sense of purpose or goal to achieve. Work is a process of discovery, a mystery like an archaeological dig with clues being unearthed one at a time. There are always questions.
Embroidery has probably been around since people first discovered that they could use thread to sew two cloths together to make things. The minute after someone figured that out, someone realized that designs could be made with thread on the fabric. Some people like to sew, and they embellished what they made with stitches. It is human nature to add decorative touches to things they make.
Embroidery makes me another woman in the chain of women who carefully stitch, who sewed, and who will sew throughout human history.
I think embroidery is Time made visible, Time made physical, in a distinct way that painting is not.
Brush strokes blend together or layer on top of one another with only traces of individual strokes remaining. Individual brush strokes are only distinct when there is a change of some sort, in direction, or brush size or color.
Stitches retain their individuality while forming part of the whole. A stitched piece is a record in a much more physical way than a painting is. Stitches occur in succession from the past, through the present, to the future.
The embroideries have direct lineage to the doodles, which are a clear part of my aesthetic and the foundation for all my work. This work is the most literal translation of doodles that I have ever done.
Stitching has been an element of my work since the early 90’s, when I was working on paper and began sewing them together to make larger sheets. Then, I started using embroidery to add, or emphasize detail, or simply for textural reasons.
For the moment, color is not an issue with this work, only contrast. Color has always been such a dominant component of my art. It is a challenge for me to take color out of the equation. Most likely, color will begin to creep into this work at some point.
Embroideries are the sum of the progression of one stitch to the next, about consistent recurrent effort, patience, harmony, and repetition.