It is always so helpful to get a good shove in the right direction. I am grateful to have received one in the form of a Creation Grant from ArtsNB. Though I am always a little shy with projects at this stage (before I can point to an object and say “Look there! That is what I mean!”), I would nonetheless like to share my proposal with you. It will give you an idea of where I am coming from as this project unfolds, beginning in October. I hope you will be as excited as I am to get started!
Standing at any point in a room, we receive light from all around. It converges in our minds and informs us of the world outside. But we are also reflecting light. At a point two feet away, our image is found there with all the others. This fact speaks of connection. We perceive ourselves as contained systems, but in real, physical ways, we are blended with the outside world.
To date, my work has focused largely on pairing technology (us) with nature (outside) to make the connections apparent. I am finding this approach too subtle. This new body of work will show the connective tissue, the ripples of light, between the subjects. To understand the imagery I will be working with, envision the following:
“Thus every body placed in the light spreads out in circles and fills the surrounding space with infinite likenesses of itself and appears all in all in every part.” – Leonardo da Vinci
I will construct the rippled compositions by digitally blending and repeating photographs. From these designs will grow nine low-relief works, twelve square feet and up, with some taller than a person. They will be exhibited as a labyrinth of freestanding panels whose adjoining imagery brings to mind a single continuous work. Four months of consistent practice will see them finished and provide a jumping off point to complex sculpture in the same vein.
This project will explore a variety of textile-infused techniques. I have been evolving a silk quilt process which makes use of hand-painted and digitally printed cloth. The ripple concept also lends itself to scaled-up tapestry, woven using large tubes of printed photograph. Several of these works will have a person-shaped hole or reflective surface in the center, immersing the viewer in the rippled connectome. Every aspect of this project is built to amplify the sense of connection to the world outside.
Silk face and backing, cotton interior and thread. Sealed leaves, tree seeds, stone, and wool.
40″ x 8″ x 30″ © Allison Green 2013.
The third piece in the Time Flies Collection, this shows the adult insect is in full flight toward the viewer. It also takes the form of a gaze of awareness.
See how it was constructed, and the other items in the series: Nascent, Nymph, and Nesting.
Exhibited with Foundation at the Saint John Arts Centre, Saint John, NB.
Pricing available upon request.
Silk face, cotton interior, backing, and thread. 40″ x 30″ © Allison Green 2013.
This piece was created outdoors during the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. It is our city at that time of year: giant trees by the water, compelled to movement by the downtown vibrations.
See how it was made.
Displayed and auctioned at Isaac’s Way, Fredericton, NB. Half of proceeds went toward children’s music lessons.
Silk face, cotton interior, backing, and thread. 45 x 45 in © Allison Green 2013.
Circuit board silk painting with free-motion quilting. Inspired by the innards of an old laptop.
See the work in progress.
Created on site at The Eager Clothsmith, Barracks Fine Craft Shop, Fredericton, NB.
Sold to private collection.
Jellyfish Rain Cape
Transparent vinyl shell. Silk collar and button.
© Allison Green 2013. Modelled by Megan McGeachy.
Rain cape inspired by the Red Paper Lantern Medusa. Machine stitched with double-layer seams for impermeability. Hand-dyed silk to protect skin from plastic. Fits over your average schoolbag. Amusing acoustic properties.
Scrappy Neck Cuffs
Silk, cotton, and wool. Collection of three.
© Allison Green 2012
Strips of various fabrics were dyed with natural indigo and handwoven with wool. The colours bring to mind the durable denim of the working class. Scrappy has a double meaning, both for the scraps of fabric and the protective nature of the cloth. The vulnerable throat is protected no matter what scraps you get into.
Silk face, polyester interior, cotton backing. Various threads including metallics. 20″ x 16″ © Allison Green 2013.
Silk painting with Procion dyes, machine quilted to within 1/2″. Based on a circuit board. Exploring the idea of beauty in industry, and the relationship between textiles and technology.
See how it was constructed: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Sold throughM&T Deli in Fredericton, NB.
I’ve come full circuit on this project (haha). From idea to action to rest. At least quilting feels like rest to me. It’s better than rest, because I have something to show for it.
I washed out the silk, very very thoroughly. The image became much clearer and the lines sharper. I did find that in places where the dye lapped up over the resist, it tinted the cloth underneath slightly. Part of learning the medium.
I hummed, I hawed, and I sampled, but I put off quilting the piece for several days. Pinning seemed to put major holes in the silk, while binding with spray adhesive soaked through and stained the cloth (despite its bold claims to the contrary). I queried the internet and found some excellent advice here. I couldn’t find the thin fusible web that was suggested but I did discover some beautiful drapey interfacing at my school shop.
I ironed it on, being careful to match the grain. I also stuck some heavy interfacing on the muslin backing to give me a little support and to help push the loft of the quilt toward the topside. Then I spray baste it all together with some extra fluffy polyester filling.
It quilted up like buttered muffins, or something equally lovely. None of that shifting and bunching that silk is so notorious for, yet somehow the interfacing was thin enough to look natural.
I nearly couldn’t stop. Thank goodness for deadlines. As is I stitched the poor thing to within an inch of its life. At first it was too “pillowy”, not nearly the structured look I was going for. With a little more time and thread it came together.
To finish it off I bias bound the edges, using a method similar to the one described here. This was for aesthetic and also to protect the silk from the violence of my staple gun.
I arranged so that the back would still be visible. Oftentimes the back is my favourite view, I like it to be all one colour so you get an abstract view of your work. It seems almost like a secret piece you didn’t intend to make.
It is now hanging for sale at the M&T Deli. I hope it finds a good home (although part of me hopes it will have to come back home with me). This one came out very much the way I had planned. Sometimes it has to go that way. Too often we arrive at the end and can’t see the beauty because it isn’t what we thought. We pick at the mistakes and distrust the compliments. But sometimes, as if in utopia, we love a project right from beginning to end.