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On a rainy weekend while traveling, I had the unique opportunity to collaborate on an art piece with my gifted cousin, Nele Braas, who is a professional photographer plus crochet artist and author. After a trip filled with so much sensory opportunity, the hands-on experience was an added, and welcome, thrill.
In this series, I position my expressive textile paintings as tarps. Metaphorically, I see tarps as protective, versatile and adaptive. They embody the best attributes of textile with the potential of sculptural form and expressive gestures through painting, printing and mixed media.
The Tarp Series asks what is the role of art in our modern world ruled by technology and fraught with serious issues? What does it mean to be a maker under these circumstances where political comment, identity and narrative is the primary conversation? Is there a role for creative expression in non-narrative ways, much like the role that music performs? How can we play more, separating the essence of creativity from the serious presentations of art found only in museum and gallery settings? These are wonderful, rarified, beautiful, but do not tell the whole story and lead us, as artists, to a more commercial view of our work. How can we lighten up?
For me, the concept of the Tarp is a reminder to express the powerful inner light, to shelter, to fulfill the important role that inspiration provides in order to make the rest of the oughts and musts of the world happen. To remind us of our humanity and inspire compassion. And, perhaps to remind us to play, to sail, transporting us elsewhere. Being outside.
These are examples of recent quilted, stitched works from 2017. All my work utilizes fabrics that I print and paint myself.