Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Art, Art History, and Design
Quilt Paintings


QUILT PAINTINGS

Statement

Liminality is soft. It is malleable, compliant, acquiescent and supple. At its worst it is weak, gullible, submissive. At its best it yields empathy.

Soft, my work exists somewhere between painting and piecework. I use fabrics that have an accumulated history – materials that are not straight off the shelf, but that have been cared for, worn and left behind. Clothes that once acted as containers for desire and that conjured up specific memories eventually disappoint their owners – either by falling out of style or becoming overshadowed by their closet counterparts. Like our aspirations and memories, these fabrics are simultaneously satiating and inadequate.

In my work i attempt to revitalize meaning within these materials, but i can only guess at their specific histories. The fabric obliges, changing easily when juxtaposed with others, or when covered with a new material. The initial design of the piecework is compromised through stretching, causing the material to warp. The support of the painting is a tool for transformation, revealing the potential of these materials, and pushing them into a role for which they are not traditionally used.

The soft colors in my work are similarly defined by their potential for transformation. They are often difficult to name, and in eluding specific identification, they too exist in an in-between state. Low saturated hues are more easily influenced by adjacent colors, and thus have a higher potential for change. In this sense, softness embraces connection through the relativity of color.

The balance of existing in a liminal state is vulnerable and precarious. But this vulnerability is also soft, creating space for transformation.