UTILITY: and being more.
What a whirl-wind the past year has been; one boy started (and almost finished) Kindergarten and myself starting a part-time job... trying to balance domesticity, child-rearing and art making. I don't know what I was thinking, even though 15 hours seemed like no big deal in my mind, it was my creative time.
My first art show did happen though. It was a rewarding opening night, I sold some pieces, enjoyed the company of good friends and strangers. Thank you to everyone who made the month a beautiful success.
My journey as an artist began with the comfort and connection associated with quilt making. I taught myself to quilt in 2012 upon the arrival of my first son, right in the middle of one of those huge transitions in life when you don’t really know what is about to happen next but you hold on and go for it. Much to my surprise, this “little hobby” I was embarking on would lead to huge personal growth, branching out and meeting some of the most inspirational people here in Knoxville.
Domestic life was a difficult adjustment for me, and through quilting I was able to find beauty and calm in the day to day hustle of child rearing. The historically woman-dominated craft of quilting was becoming a way of life for me, as it has for so many before me. For many years, women have been making these objects of utility to provide warmth and security to their loved ones, pouring their prayers and hardships into each one and weaving broken pieces back together. The quilt’s utility is so appealing and practical, yet what goes into making the surface design of each quilt is so much more than just what is useful—and this method of beautifying the home environment has a deep and rich history into which I step with each quilt I design.
Modern quilt making has evolved into a movement of personal expression that has spurred me to keep exploring, asking questions, and searching for more. My work is evolving, centering me, and satisfying my need to be stimulated visually through color, composition, and concept. I’ve been influenced greatly by cut-paper collage, abstract expressionism, print making and a love for what I call organic geometry. There is a deep satisfaction in the calculated imperfections that come from creating by hand and being a work in progress, because these processes resonate with my experience. I discover under-appreciated beauty in life’s imperfections. This show is about how much more there is to life than UTILITY.
This show is dedicated to the women who have taught me and encouraged me to explore.
Location: Central Collective, 923 N. Central St.
Dates: April-May 2018
Photography by Andrea Spidell.