Date of this Version
Published in Textiles and Politics: Textile Society of America 13th Biennial Symposium Proceedings, Washington, DC, September 18- September 22, 2012.
Personal engagement with social and ecological issues Two artists, geographically separated, began a loosely collaborative partnership ten years ago, out of which they quietly tilt at windmills. Refuting suppositional barriers, we create, curate, exhibit and challenge the parameters of how contemporary tapestry weaving is defined. Dorothy Clews is quietly, passionately, concerned with ecological issues. Through her tapestries she explores the evolution of something regarded as unchangeable and enduring into something fragile and mutable. Her art work references the slow erosion of the belief that interactions between humanity, the environment and ecology will remain stable and continue to support life, as we know it today. My own art work engages ideologically with those on the perimeter of the societal mainstream and questions the complexities presented by imbedded Eurocentric attitudes to infertility, mortality/immortality, and shifting perceptions of time and beauty. Working in several, related media, all my work is created with small, obsessively repetitive hand movements, making time and the investiture of hours of my life, as evidenced by my mark making, components underscoring the concepts While we each have our own focus, our techniques at times mirror one another. For example, by intentionally allowing their precious, handmade textiles to decay in the earth, to then remove, conserve and re-present them as valued objects, by devoting hours to contemplative weaving and stitching, the artists engage both the conceptual edges of control, creation, reclamation and beauty, and contemporary valuation of time.