Much of my work takes the form of objects in which I modify antique textiles, such as handkerchiefs, baby garments, garment parts and domestic textiles. I have been particularly interested in the layering of my imagery, ornamentation and “notions” onto the history of the original textile, which was usually a lovingly made functional domestic object. I modify them with dye, photographic imagery, applied either with photo-screen, direct digital printing, digital embroidery, and/or, recently, photo-laser etching. I am interested in the deception that’s created between what the textile object originally looked like, and the information I have added to it.
I’m an obsessive photographer, and “collect” images as I travel the world. The images I find dictate the work that will be made from them. I am particularly fond of the statuary in 19th Century cemeteries. Travels in Korea led to images of paper digitally printed onto paper. I also frequent flea markets, looking for textile objects that will work with my imagery. I believe that the objects I find inform me of what they want done with them. I’m obsessed with the “hunt” as part of the process, knowing that I have “discovered” a unique object that there is little likelihood of finding again.
For over thirty years I have been creating work that is thematically based on the absurdity of life in the face of inevitable death. Collections and memories, shopping as art form, natural and artificial, and obsessive decoration are very much a part of that exploration.