September 13, 2016

A Lifeline


A year and a half ago, soon after I turned 40, I gifted myself a sabbatical to explore a new direction in my work. One of the first projects I tackled was to fabricate a sculpture out of an antique quilt top that I'd been holding onto for years with this purpose in mind. The slow evolution of this unfinished quilt has been a learning process for me with many stops and starts.


First, I created a simple drop pattern and proceeded to cut up the entire quilt. The drops were stitched together and stuffed inside-out so the hand-pieced, textured surface would be visible. Ironically the quilt lent me 42 drops--the age I will be turning in a few months.


In order to unify the forms and emphasize their texture without the distraction of a country craft palette each one was painted with black gesso. The gesso transformed the drops from a soft pillow form into a calcified cocoon. After painting, I sanded and stitched the pods to re-emphasize the lines and textures of the original quilted surface. The final surface was fused with a layer of wax lending a skin-like smoothness to these seemingly rough forms.


Through each step this work has pushed and pulled me along. The process was much more involved than I could have predicted at the outset. Nevertheless, I'm glad I keep pulling it back out to puzzle out each step of its transformation. It is a quilt no longer. The 42 drops have been bound tightly to a spine of sorts. I arranged them onto an old lead rope using the measurements of my own torso. For whatever this is, I call it a Lifeline.


September 1, 2016

Pink Palette

In need of a wider variety of peachy-pink material for my series of Fiber Forms and other studio experiments, I've turned to an unlikely source--avocado pits. After searching online for what natural dyes would lend my desired palette I came across this recipe and proceeded to buy/eat avocados for weeks. Unfortunately I'm the only one in the family who likes them so I collected them in the freezer til I had enough to make a full dye pot. I boiled eight pits for this batch of old linen scraps, stained cotton doilies and cheese cloth. The aged whites and creams were transformed into a subtle palette of the fleshy pink textures. I was more than pleased with the outcome and have already started stitching with my new stash.




August 23, 2016

Reform: Subversive Fashion

Last month, before our move, I finished stitching over 100 'Coin Cunts' and shipped them off to Albuquerque, NM. They will be included, along with work by four other artists, in an exciting counter-culture fashion exhibition opening Friday at Central Features Contemporary Art. This will be the largest installation of the 'Coin Cunts' thus far. 

Missouri-based artist Suzanna Scott challenges visual and societal perceptions with Coin Cunts, a collection of coin purses. By turning each purse inside out to reveal and reform the different interior linings, Scott teases the imagination and sparks conversation about the ties amongst sexuality, gender, money, and fashion. 
 Nancy Zastudil, Central Features Contemporary Art



Contemporary fashion is in question and on display this Fall season at Central Features Contemporary Art. Cross programming and promotion is presented in conjunction with the exhibition ReFashion at form & concept in Santa Fe, NM. ReForm: Subversive Fashion is an exhibition of select garments, accessories, and other adornments that thwart conventional expectations. The exhibition features JUMPSUIT by The Rational Dress Society, an installation by Suzanna Scott, an interactive dress by Nina Silfverberg, collages by Kirsten Stolle, and new textile work by Sarah Wagner
August 26 - September 30
Central Features Contemporary Art
514 Central Ave SW #2, Albuquerque, NM
Opening Reception on Aug 26th, 6-8pm

August 10, 2016

We've Moved

Cocooned sculpture waiting to be loaded onto the moving truck.

Our family has moved from Springfield, Missouri. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of packing, cleaning, and unpacking. Not to mention the better half of a day spent at the DMV getting our driver's licenses and most importantly registering to vote! Patrick is joining the Department of Economics & Finance at Louisiana Tech University this Fall--thus the reason for our relocation. We are excited to get acquainted with our new city of Ruston, Louisiana--aka The Peach City.

My two favorite movers. Lizzie was a trooper & earned her triple-allowance.
 
Boxes piled in my new studio. Now it's time to get back to making!

July 13, 2016

Fiber Options

Cheese Box of Vulvas by Susan Hensel and Plexus by Suzanna Scott

I'm pleased to share that one of my fiber pieces, Plexus, is included in the exhibition Fiber Options: Material Explorations at the Maryland Federation of the Arts Circle Gallery. The show is comprised of seventy-two works using fiber in varied range of material and application. It is a wonderful collection of contemporary fiber works.

MFA Circle Gallery
Annapolis, Maryland
July 14 - August 6
Opening Reception: July 24th, 3-5 pm
 
Getting To Quiet by Laurie LeBreton

From hand-knit pieces felted into sculptural monuments to video monitors shrouded in hooded sweatshirts, the options in fiber are limitless. Combining an array of materials, both traditional and unexpected, with historic to digital techniques, the artists of Fiber Options: Material Exploration exhibit artistry, innovation, and emotion. Precisely pieced quilts, meticulously knotted vessels, and delicately dyed silks are a few examples of the supreme skill and dexterity employed over countless hours by these artists. Oftentimes, several skills appear in a singular piece: stitched still lifes on hand-dyed cotton or fabric and thread encased in encaustic, all demonstrate supreme artistry.
Innovation commingles with tradition in a quilt deliberately severed into quadrants or sweetly stitched flowers paired with a expertly embroidered dead cockroach. Several artists reinvent conventional notions of fiber art by including unexpected materials. Typewriter ribbon and VHS cassette tape replace wool and linen in woven constructions. Fiber is no longer precious with roofing nails driven into silk and sticks set afire dangerously near hand-painted ropes. Technological advances provide artists with the ability to print on fabrics and digitize embroidery, opening up new options in the world of fiber.
Beyond the tangible, emotion and character can be observed in the stab of the needle, throw of the weaving shuttle, submersion of fabric into dye, and sometimes, sorrow and devastation literally spill forth onto the floor. Steadfast resolve surfaces in a hyper-realistic embroidered black eye while vulnerability lingers in a threadbare cloth. Clothing carries deep-rooted symbolism—a hooded sweatshirt, a bridal veil, a Hijab—and immediately conjure a range of emotions and viewpoints.
Fiber speaks to us in so many ways. It can be intricately detailed or all encompassing, traditionally constructed or surprisingly innovative, intimately displayed or globally outspoken. The options in fiber are endless.
Susanna Fields-Kuehl, juror

Big Flower by Lisa Marie Barber

September 13, 2016

A Lifeline


A year and a half ago, soon after I turned 40, I gifted myself a sabbatical to explore a new direction in my work. One of the first projects I tackled was to fabricate a sculpture out of an antique quilt top that I'd been holding onto for years with this purpose in mind. The slow evolution of this unfinished quilt has been a learning process for me with many stops and starts.


First, I created a simple drop pattern and proceeded to cut up the entire quilt. The drops were stitched together and stuffed inside-out so the hand-pieced, textured surface would be visible. Ironically the quilt lent me 42 drops--the age I will be turning in a few months.


In order to unify the forms and emphasize their texture without the distraction of a country craft palette each one was painted with black gesso. The gesso transformed the drops from a soft pillow form into a calcified cocoon. After painting, I sanded and stitched the pods to re-emphasize the lines and textures of the original quilted surface. The final surface was fused with a layer of wax lending a skin-like smoothness to these seemingly rough forms.


Through each step this work has pushed and pulled me along. The process was much more involved than I could have predicted at the outset. Nevertheless, I'm glad I keep pulling it back out to puzzle out each step of its transformation. It is a quilt no longer. The 42 drops have been bound tightly to a spine of sorts. I arranged them onto an old lead rope using the measurements of my own torso. For whatever this is, I call it a Lifeline.


September 1, 2016

Pink Palette

In need of a wider variety of peachy-pink material for my series of Fiber Forms and other studio experiments, I've turned to an unlikely source--avocado pits. After searching online for what natural dyes would lend my desired palette I came across this recipe and proceeded to buy/eat avocados for weeks. Unfortunately I'm the only one in the family who likes them so I collected them in the freezer til I had enough to make a full dye pot. I boiled eight pits for this batch of old linen scraps, stained cotton doilies and cheese cloth. The aged whites and creams were transformed into a subtle palette of the fleshy pink textures. I was more than pleased with the outcome and have already started stitching with my new stash.




August 23, 2016

Reform: Subversive Fashion

Last month, before our move, I finished stitching over 100 'Coin Cunts' and shipped them off to Albuquerque, NM. They will be included, along with work by four other artists, in an exciting counter-culture fashion exhibition opening Friday at Central Features Contemporary Art. This will be the largest installation of the 'Coin Cunts' thus far. 

Missouri-based artist Suzanna Scott challenges visual and societal perceptions with Coin Cunts, a collection of coin purses. By turning each purse inside out to reveal and reform the different interior linings, Scott teases the imagination and sparks conversation about the ties amongst sexuality, gender, money, and fashion. 
 Nancy Zastudil, Central Features Contemporary Art



Contemporary fashion is in question and on display this Fall season at Central Features Contemporary Art. Cross programming and promotion is presented in conjunction with the exhibition ReFashion at form & concept in Santa Fe, NM. ReForm: Subversive Fashion is an exhibition of select garments, accessories, and other adornments that thwart conventional expectations. The exhibition features JUMPSUIT by The Rational Dress Society, an installation by Suzanna Scott, an interactive dress by Nina Silfverberg, collages by Kirsten Stolle, and new textile work by Sarah Wagner
August 26 - September 30
Central Features Contemporary Art
514 Central Ave SW #2, Albuquerque, NM
Opening Reception on Aug 26th, 6-8pm

August 10, 2016

We've Moved

Cocooned sculpture waiting to be loaded onto the moving truck.

Our family has moved from Springfield, Missouri. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of packing, cleaning, and unpacking. Not to mention the better half of a day spent at the DMV getting our driver's licenses and most importantly registering to vote! Patrick is joining the Department of Economics & Finance at Louisiana Tech University this Fall--thus the reason for our relocation. We are excited to get acquainted with our new city of Ruston, Louisiana--aka The Peach City.

My two favorite movers. Lizzie was a trooper & earned her triple-allowance.
 
Boxes piled in my new studio. Now it's time to get back to making!

July 13, 2016

Fiber Options

Cheese Box of Vulvas by Susan Hensel and Plexus by Suzanna Scott

I'm pleased to share that one of my fiber pieces, Plexus, is included in the exhibition Fiber Options: Material Explorations at the Maryland Federation of the Arts Circle Gallery. The show is comprised of seventy-two works using fiber in varied range of material and application. It is a wonderful collection of contemporary fiber works.

MFA Circle Gallery
Annapolis, Maryland
July 14 - August 6
Opening Reception: July 24th, 3-5 pm
 
Getting To Quiet by Laurie LeBreton

From hand-knit pieces felted into sculptural monuments to video monitors shrouded in hooded sweatshirts, the options in fiber are limitless. Combining an array of materials, both traditional and unexpected, with historic to digital techniques, the artists of Fiber Options: Material Exploration exhibit artistry, innovation, and emotion. Precisely pieced quilts, meticulously knotted vessels, and delicately dyed silks are a few examples of the supreme skill and dexterity employed over countless hours by these artists. Oftentimes, several skills appear in a singular piece: stitched still lifes on hand-dyed cotton or fabric and thread encased in encaustic, all demonstrate supreme artistry.
Innovation commingles with tradition in a quilt deliberately severed into quadrants or sweetly stitched flowers paired with a expertly embroidered dead cockroach. Several artists reinvent conventional notions of fiber art by including unexpected materials. Typewriter ribbon and VHS cassette tape replace wool and linen in woven constructions. Fiber is no longer precious with roofing nails driven into silk and sticks set afire dangerously near hand-painted ropes. Technological advances provide artists with the ability to print on fabrics and digitize embroidery, opening up new options in the world of fiber.
Beyond the tangible, emotion and character can be observed in the stab of the needle, throw of the weaving shuttle, submersion of fabric into dye, and sometimes, sorrow and devastation literally spill forth onto the floor. Steadfast resolve surfaces in a hyper-realistic embroidered black eye while vulnerability lingers in a threadbare cloth. Clothing carries deep-rooted symbolism—a hooded sweatshirt, a bridal veil, a Hijab—and immediately conjure a range of emotions and viewpoints.
Fiber speaks to us in so many ways. It can be intricately detailed or all encompassing, traditionally constructed or surprisingly innovative, intimately displayed or globally outspoken. The options in fiber are endless.
Susanna Fields-Kuehl, juror

Big Flower by Lisa Marie Barber