Fabric Of Life! (74″ x 56″)

1st Place: Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts: Minnesota Quilters

“Fabric of Life!” took over half a year to complete. My message is an appreciation of life itself, and people from various cultures, locales and walks of life. Embrace the beauty of nature.

My self-taught technique involves folding, pleating, twirling or whatever it takes to create shapes and textures with cloth. This can be seen in the black and white sundress on the woman standing in water and her hat with the long red ribbon.

Both the dress and hat began as circles. The silky quality of the dress allowed for wrapping it to fit and also flare in the wind. The hat was made of cotton, so it was folded into shape, much like folding paper.

In life, people’s gestures matter. So I wanted the figures to be ‘living life’ whether reaching for a dolphin, or standing pensively in the moment holding a single flower.

There is so much potential when adding beads as grains of sand, rays of sun and teardrops. As a fiber artist, I’ve realized my ‘paint’ and ‘canvas’ are really cloth, beads and thread. With these, the possibilities seem endless.

My art is about Life! When I think about life, it encompasses all of nature; all of humanity. Not in terms of life-spans, but merely because life exists.

This polar bear depicts how life prevails in the coldest of climates through adaptation. I believe resilience is in us all. Life is fraught with challenge. I find the creating of my art is a way to arrive at solutions.

I found challenge in that creating this bear took layer over layer of faux-fur, then shaping it and enhancing its features with embroidery thread until it seemed to come to life. The final details were two carefully selected beads for the eyes, that reflected light in just the right way, adding expression.