I'm pleased to announce that Silk Mill #1 has been accepted for the 38th Annual Contemporary Craft Exhibit at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum in Mesa, AZ. The juror is Stefanie Kirkland. The exhibit runs February 10 through April 23, 2017
This was the first in a set of three works I made about the former Ashley and Bailey Silk Mill in Columbia, PA. The building had an interesting history, and was used as a garment factory into the 1970's, but then fell into disarray. I took pictures of the magnificent ruin just before it was re-purposed into the Turkey Hill Experience, a tourist site. You can track back and read all about the series by clicking here.
Silk Mill #1 features screen prints on cotton, digital images on silk, artist-painted and commercial silk and cotton fabrics, and is heavily machine stitched.
I'm documenting the work I'm doing, making an art quilt made in responseto my visit last November to the James Webb Space Telescope at the NASA Goddard Space Center. If you missed it earlier, you can read about it in Part 1,Part 2, and Artwork in Progress. The center portion of the quilt is a panel depicting my interpretation of what the telescope will be able to detect and record. It will look back in time almost to the Big Bang, so the possibilities for discovery are immense. I used a needlefelting technique with yarn and wool roving to create galaxy swirls, and a mix of fiber techniques to make various nebula, which I then enhanced with semi-precious stones. It was an enormous lot of fun and I'm excited about the results.
For the borders of the background quilt, I took my fisheye photo of the telescope in the clean room, edited it, and had it printed on cotton yardage. A side note--I've never done a self portrait, was never really interested in doing so, but I was inordinately pleased when I realized that I can see myself, dressed in black and holding my cell phone in front of my face, reflected on the right in the mirror.
This quilt has grown large--60" h x 74" wide--and I needed a piece of cloth for the back of it. I took a chance on a mild-ish winter day and went outside to paint some swirls and stars and let them develop character as they dried on the driveway. When the work is done and hanging the back is not evident. but I see it a lot as I'm doing the quilting and it makes me happy to make it special. You can see how well the stitching is coming along in this view of it.
So, what with the cyanotype from the last post, the golden silk hexagons, the needlefelted galaxies, and the digital fisheye prints, it would seem there are a lot of disparate elements at play here. But making order of chaos is what I do, so please trust that it is all coming together. I have a few details to finish up, and I'll need to do the photography, and then will be able to reveal the whole work (hopefully) soon. Stay tuned!
Also! Plans are being firmed up for an exhibit of all the #JWSTArt artworks at the Visitors Center at NASA Goddard beginning in March. I am even more excited about seeing all the other work as I am about finishing mine.