I was recently invited to show a group of tapestries at the art galleries at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, as part of a group of 3 textile shows: “Quilts from the Collection of Judy and Tom Morton”, and “Stitches in Time: Samplers from Private Collections” flank my show, “Stone Tapestries”. In selecting a group of tapestries for the show, Katherine Waters and I decided to focus on my Stones series which spans two decades It is always helpful to stop and view a group of works together, and to formulate a synopsis of the ideas which one was attempting to express. Here is the statement I wrote for the show.
“I have long used a recurring motif of stones in my work. It began as a way of making an equivalent of soil in the garden tapestries I was weaving many years ago. I found I enjoyed making the many small, multicolored ovals which, at the time, I viewed as pebbles. Much of my work is grounded in recognizable imagery and I viewed – still view – the woven marks I made as an equivalent, or approximation, of something which actually existed in the world. In other words, most of my woven work is created with the intention of making a recognizable equivalent of something which I have witnessed in the real world.
One day, as I realized how much I enjoy making those colorful little oval marks, I asked myself if they could hold enough interest in and of themselves to cover a field with no other visual reference. From that day my Stones work has become a way of exploring space, color, depth of field, and surface in textiles. When I make a tapestry which is simply a field of stones, I become mesmerized by the process of laying in the colored threads. Every detail counts. I might choose a red thread for a space and decide it has totally thrown the direction I was going in, as all color relates to the colors it is surrounded by. I watch as a field of color evolves incrementally and every color choice I make is spontaneous and critical. The resulting work, I feel, has great depth, movement, texture, and an emotion which have been made thread by thread in a meditative and intimate conversation between myself and my loom.”